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.
Apr 15, 2015

An Inside Look into Fighting Wildlife Crime

Risking their lives to save endangered animals
Risking their lives to save endangered animals

On March 12, 2015, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) concluded a long running investigation on a trader previously identified by an informant in the province of Stung Treng. The team conducted extensive undercover surveillance in order to determine who was involved in the trading activities and to identify the best possible time to conduct a raid to ensure offenders were apprehended with wildlife in their possession. To avoid any information leaks or tip offs, the team withheld details of the operation from all other agencies until the morning of the raid when local court officials, Forestry Administration and local police were brought on board to assist.

After surrounding the house, access was gained but the traders refused to cooperate and even released live king cobras to distract the team. Undeterred, these highly experienced officers carefully captured each of the venomous snakes and a thorough search of the house resulted in the seizure of the 4 large king cobras, 5 rat snakes, 1 dried slow loris, 26 elongated tortoises, 2 giant Asian pond turtles and 4 snail-eating turtles. As king cobras are a threatened species, the traders were arrested and are currently being held in pre-trial detention, awaiting trial in the provincial court. All live wildlife was later transported to a protected area at Stung Proat in Koh Kong Province where they were successfully released back into natural habitats. The dried loris was destroyed at the local Forestry Administration office.

A lot of time and preparation goes into each operation conducted by the WRRT to ensure their efforts result in an open-and-shut prosecution. Wildlife trafficking uses a sophisticated network that preys on poverty stricken nations and people. Throughout the developing world, it is necessary to take precautions against corruption and information leaks, and doing so often puts the team dangerously at odds with other officials. However, these vigilant wildlife heroes remain unfaltering. Since 2001, they have rescued over 60,000 animals and confiscated 30 tons of wildlife products from poachers and illegal wildlife traders. The recent acceleration in demand – that is especially prevalent in China and Vietnam – requires us to expand our efforts and impact. It is critical for us to continue to provide direct protection to animals, many of which are facing extinction. Thank you for your commitment to help the WRRT in their efforts to stop illegal wildlife trafficking, and we hope you will continue to support this important cause.

The WRRT is a Forestry Administration law enforcement unit led by the Forestry Administration, in cooperation with the Military Police, with technical and financial support from Wildlife Alliance.

Tackling another snake
Tackling another snake
Confiscated animals and animal parts by the WRRT
Confiscated animals and animal parts by the WRRT
Rescued snail-eating turtle
Rescued snail-eating turtle
Apr 14, 2015

Thank You for Helping us Protect the Pangolin!

Rescued from a trader heading to Vietnam
Rescued from a trader heading to Vietnam

We would like to extend a special thank you to all the amazing donors that helped fund our campaign to save the most trafficked mammal in the world. Thanks to your generosity and kindness, this ongoing campaign will be able to continue to rescue and protect the endangered Sunda pangolin. We raised over $5,000 which will help our rangers continue to stop this illicit trade from decimating pangolin populations in Cambodia. We would like to share with you some recent successes that demonstrate that your gift is not only being put to good use, but is actually saving lives.

Since posting this project, our field operators have already rescued 10 pangolins! In 2014, Wildlife Alliance forest rangers conducted 8,005 patrols, protecting nearly 2 million acres of forest. They rescued 362 other animals and removed 4,835 meters of netting and 22,835 snares from the forest – protecting thousands of lives from being indiscriminately captured. Their important work is keeping vital habitat safe and available for pangolins and all wildlife in the Southern Cardamoms.

Pangolins are very hard to care for in captivity due to their sensitive natures, and little research or evidence exists on their survival rates post-release. There is no standard release or monitoring protocol for pangolins – a situation we hope to address with our new pangolin release project. A new pangolin release enclosure was constructed at our Wildlife Release Station (WRS) and a few suitable pangolins were fitted with transmitters that will allow for closer monitoring post-release. After an acclimation period in their release enclosure at WRS, the pangolins were released and we started collecting data on their behavior and on our strategies and protocols that are supporting their long-term survival. Unfortunately, the animals were quick to shed their tags, as usually happens with Sunda pangolins. They squeeze themselves into tiny crevices and the scales to which the transmitters are attached break. However we gained some useful information and recovered the shed transmitters from deep inside hollow trees, which indicates that the pangolins were not hunted and survived well on their own. This monitored release project is extremely important as very little information is available about pangolins in the wild as they are rarely observed due to their secretive, solitary, and nocturnal habits, and we will continue to protect and collect information on this endangered species.

Thank you again for your generous donation and for helping us spread the word about the plight of the pangolin. We hope you will continue to help us make a difference for wildlife by supporting one of our new projects. You can Help Bring Wildlife Back to Angkor Forest or Provide Emergency Care for Lucky the Elephant. Unfortunately, Lucky our beloved elephant at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center in Cambodia has recently fallen ill and is being provided with emergency medical treatment. Learn more about how she desperately needs your help here.

Rescued from a trader heading to Vietnam in Nov.
Rescued from a trader heading to Vietnam in Nov.
After his rescue, enjoying a swim at the Center
After his rescue, enjoying a swim at the Center
Thank you for giving him a second chance!
Thank you for giving him a second chance!
Apr 10, 2015

Concert for Wildlife in Cambodia Draws over 5,000

Ambassador, the Youth Council & Wildlife Alliance
Ambassador, the Youth Council & Wildlife Alliance

On January 31, 2015, following nine months of partnership and preparation, the  Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Unit (KE) and Ambassador’s Youth Council (AYC) (a small group of young people that advises US Ambassador to Cambodia, William E. Todd, on issues concerning youth in Cambodia) completed the Wild for Life event in Phnom Penh. Held at the popular Night Market, it was the venue’s first ever educational concert, raising awareness on environmental preservation, wildlife trafficking, and the Wildlife Alliance wildlife crimes hotline. The event opened with a speech by US Ambassador Todd who spoke about the environmental issues plaguing Cambodia. Following the Ambassador’s speech were several acts by high profile performers including Laura Mom and Jimmy Kiss, comedian Sokea, shadow puppet performances from Sovanna Phum Arts Association, and more, all recruited by the KE and AYC. Additionally, KE did a presentation on wildlife species in Cambodia, the threats posed to them, and things people can do to help, including reporting crimes against wildlife to our 24-hour nationwide wildlife rescue hotline.

The event was incredibly well received and when asked what they thought, audience members said they loved the show and hoped that events like this would be held more often! There was also significant press coverage surrounding the concert which helped us promote the wildlife rescue hotline number on the radio, on TV, in print and on social media.

We would like to thank the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia for funding the event, as well as congratulate the AYC and Kouprey Express for doing such an excellent job promoting and hosting the Wild for Life concert! This is just the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two groups, and we look forward to other exciting collaborations in the future.

In addition to this large event, in January and February, 40 teachers and community members received training, 422 students learned about conservation, wildlife protection and deforestation through classroom lessons and 160 students, community members, and teachers went on a field trip to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC). 3 educational signs were mounted at schools that displayed environmental protection messages, wildlife conservation tips, and the Wildlife Alliance hotline.

Performances by popular artists to raise awareness
Performances by popular artists to raise awareness
Engaging Cambodian youth in wildlfie conservation
Engaging Cambodian youth in wildlfie conservation

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