Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance is the leader in direct protection to forests and wildlife in the Southeast Asian tropical belt. Our mission is to combat deforestation, extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.
Dec 29, 2014

An Alternative to Slash and Burn Farming

Nak Sok and his wife on their farm
Nak Sok and his wife on their farm

It is estimated that 4,000 – 6,000 square miles of rainforest are lost each year to slash-and-burn agriculture. While this technique of cultivation has existed since humans first began farming, the combination of rapidly declining forests and increasing human population has made it unsustainable. After just one harvest, erosion and nutrient loss causes the soil to quickly degrade, making it impossible to grow on that land again, and forcing farmers to burn down another section of forest. This vicious cycle leads to sustained poverty, forest fires, desertification, biodiversity loss and a net increase in global carbon dioxide emission. To address this critical issue in the Southern Cardamoms, Wildlife Alliance created the Community Agriculture Development Project (CADP) to help families earn a livable income while still protecting wildlife and forests.

The program has helped 187 families lift themselves out of poverty by training them in modern agriculture techniques and marketing, and providing farmers with subsidized tools, irrigation, and seedlings. One such farmer that has benefited is Nak Sok. Before joining the program, Nak Sok and his family survived by poaching and slash-and-burn farming. They were eventually able to save enough to buy a small farm near the Andoung Teuk River. However, they soon found out that the land they acquired actually belonged to someone else, and the “seller” had provided them with false papers and stolen their money. Nak Sok did not want to go back to the unpredictability of the forest and decided to join the Community Agriculture Development Project in Sovanna Baitong instead. The program helped him obtain1.5 hectares of land, where they now grow watermelon, sugarcane, rice, and corn year round. Nak Sok and his wife even raise pigs, chickens, cows and ducks to supplement their income. They are dedicated farmers and parents to four daughters and three sons. Their steady income has allowed them to build a new home for their large family, send their children to school and generate savings. Most importantly, the family has achieved a level of stability and financial success that they never dreamed would be possible when they lived in the forest.

To continue to make stories like this possible, make a gift today to Empower Cambodian Communities to Protect Forests

Their beautiful new home for their large family
Their beautiful new home for their large family
Dec 29, 2014

Endangered Langurs Released in Angkor

An Endangered Silvered Langur
An Endangered Silvered Langur

We are very excited to announce that on December 17th, a trio of endangered silvered langurs was released into the forest of Angkor Archaeological Park. Born to parents rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, the langurs were mother-raised at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) and lived in a rehabilitation enclosure with limited human presence for some time. They were transferred to their release enclosure in Angkor Thom on July 20th, where they acclimated to their new surroundings for 4 months before being released. Fifteen minutes after the release door was opened, the male and one of the females left the enclosure. We were initially concerned they would leave the other female behind, however after another fifteen minutes she made her exit, and the two were waiting for her outside. Over the past few days, the langurs have stayed close to their release site and continue to take supplemental food left for them as they adjust to their new home in the wild!

The silvered langurs are the second set of animals that we have released into this protected forest. In December 2013, the Wildlife Release Project at Angkor Archaeological Park was initiated with the release of two endangered gibbons. Since then, the gibbons have quickly adapted to their new life, and even had their first baby in September! This release project is a groundbreaking new endeavor between Wildlife Alliance, the Forestry Administration and the Apsara Authority that manages the World Heritage site, to repopulate the barren forest at Angkor Archaeological Park. The Angkor temples and their surrounding forest are one the most culturally significant places in Cambodia. The 4,000 hectares of forest that surrounds the temples is now almost devoid of wildlife due to excessive and unrestricted hunting that used to take place. The area is now well protected and we are extremely fortunate to be the ones with permission to start repopulating the forests with species that used to live here.

Listed by the IUCN as Endangered, silvered langurs are beautiful tree-dwelling monkeys that have long tails and a unique salt-and-peppered coat. Infants are born with a bright orange coat and only begin developing grey fur after three months. Silvered langurs feed primarily on leaves and have a large, specialized stomach containing symbiotic bacteria that detoxifies poisonous leaves and enables them to digest leaf material more efficiently than any other primate. These incredible animals are endangered due to habitat loss, the illegal wildlife trade and use in traditional medicines. It is our hope that this monitored release program will help bolster their dwindling populations and safeguard their uncertain future. Guards have been stationed to protect the forest, and the langurs will continue to be monitored to ensure they thrive in their new home.

Help Wildlife Alliance continue to be at the forefront of conservation and wildlife protection in the Southeast Asian tropical belt, by making an end of year gift to Help Save Victimized Wildlife today!

Waiting for the other female langur to come out
Waiting for the other female langur to come out
Eating some snacks left out for them
Eating some snacks left out for them
Exploring their new home in the wild!
Exploring their new home in the wild!
The Wildlife Release Project team in Angkor
The Wildlife Release Project team in Angkor
Dec 11, 2014

Rescued: 108 Animals Heading to Vietnam

Rescued sugar gliders - photo by Peter Yuen
Rescued sugar gliders - photo by Peter Yuen

Last month, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) received information from a reliable source that a major shipment of wildlife was being transported along National Road 5 in a white Lexus. The team left immediately and was able to intercept the vehicle along the highway on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. A search of the vehicle resulted in the rescue of 40 sugar gliders, 15 hedge hogs, 18 water dragons, 8 variable squirrels, 3 Burmese pythons, 5 Brongersma’s short-tailed pythons, 9 garden fence lizards, 5 Nicobar pigeons and 4 grey bellied squirrels. The rescued animals were immediately transported to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center where veterinarian staff can assess the condition of each animal. Those deemed suitable for release will be released into protected natural habitat as soon as possible.

The trader, a Vietnamese national, was apprehended and taken to a nearby Forestry Administration office for further questioning. During interrogation, the trader admitted to purchasing the wildlife from Chak Thu Chak market in central Bangkok before crossing the border in to Cambodia. He intended to continue on to Ho Chi Min city to resell the wildlife for a substantial profit. Most of the species rescued are not native to Cambodia and do not fall within the Forestry Law legislation, so the trader was only fined $4,500 USD. However, details about the trader have been passed on to contacts in Vietnam where it is hoped further investigation will result in ongoing operations and apprehensions. This significant bust, as well as the rescue of a critically endangered pangolin that was also heading to Vietnam on November 11th, suggest that Cambodia is increasingly being used as a wildlife transportation route to countries like China and Vietnam. To address this trend, the WRRT has been strengthening ties with border authorities and customs officials to reduce transnational trading. This increased cooperation with border and airport officials has already led to several successful arrests this year, and we hope to continue to build on these relationships in the upcoming year.

Make a gift this holiday season, and help the WRRT and Wildlife Alliance put an end to illegal trafficking in Asia!

WRRT Intercepts Suspects Vehicle
WRRT Intercepts Suspects Vehicle
A full search of the car revealed 108 animals
A full search of the car revealed 108 animals
Rescued baby hedgehogs
Rescued baby hedgehogs

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