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.
Feb 21, 2017

Illegally Cut Timber Seized in One of the World's Most Threatened Forests

Wildlife Alliance rangers successfully carried out a major illegal logging bust and seized large amounts of timber. After a week-long struggle to obtain a search warrant from Kompong Speu provincial authorities, our rangers successfully located and confiscated 89 pieces (24 cubic meters) of timber, resulting from the destruction of about 75 illegally harvested trees. The illegally cut wood was found just 500 meters from a private sawmill. The confiscated timber was transported to the local Forestry Administration as evidence to apprehend the loggers.

The Cardamom Mountains continue to be a hotspot for illegal logging activities. Thus, deforestation continues at an unprecedented rate in the area. To combat this crisis, Wildlife Alliance provides direct on-the-ground protection through six ranger stations. On their daily patrols, the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program stops forest clearings, timber cutting, and wildlife poaching. In 2015, our rangers confiscated 240 cubic meters of timber, removed 473 illegal logging campsites, and seized 450 chainsaws.

Keeping the Southern Cardamom rainforest intact is crucial because it is part of the Indo-Burma Peninsula in Southeast Asia, one of the most threatened rainforests in the world. With an original habitat encompassing 237,300,000 hectares, only 5% of the Indo-Burma forest remains today and Cambodia represents almost 20% of this remaining rainforest. The Cardamoms are home to 20 threatened mammal species and regulate rainfall for the entire west of Cambodia – producing 22 major rivers that provide water supply, climate regulation, and resources to hundreds of thousands of people in 3,750 villages across 8 provinces.

On behalf of the rare trees and animals, as well as the local people who depend on the environmental services provided by the forest, we thank you for your generous support. Your ongoing commitment enables us to keep the Cardamom forests standing.

Cleared forest
Cleared forest
Feb 21, 2017

Ivory, cheetah bones, and pangolin scales seized!

One of Cambodia
One of Cambodia's biggest ivory busts ever

In December, ivory, cheetah bones, and pangolin scales were seized in one of Cambodia's largest wildlife trafficking busts ever! The Cambodian government intercepted a shipment from Mozambique, leading to one of the biggest seizures of wildlife parts in the country's history. It took three days for the officers from Customs, Wildlife Alliance, and the U.S. Embassy to excavate the 1.3 metric tons of ivory, 10 cheetah skulls, 82 kgs (180 lbs) of cheetah bones, and 137 kgs (301 lbs) of pangolin scales, ensconced in a heavy, white wax substance and cleverly concealed inside three wooden containers. The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) is continuing investigations to locate and arrest the offender who is believed to be responsible for three other importations that were all intercepted before reaching Cambodia. 

There have been 19 confiscations of African ivory and rhino horn conducted by Customs and border officials in Cambodia since 2014. Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries have long been known to be a trade route for smuggled wildlife, but the large number of busts in recent years is an encourageing sign that times are changing. Thanks to the training Wildlife Alliance has conducted at shipping ports and airports with Customs officials and international haulage companies, the wildlife laws that are already in place are now being implemented by officials throughout the country. Cambodia is no longer the safe destination that it used to be for wildlife smugglers! Provincial officials are also now implementing sizeable confiscations of indigenous wildlife and call the WRRT for assistance with documentation and the safe transferal of wildlife either for release or for care at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. 

In addition to assisting in this major bust, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team made major strides toward disrtupting the wildlife trade last quarter. Over 174 operations, the ream rescued 1,046 animals, confiscated 2,226 dead animals and 301.5kg of meat, apprehended 29 wildlife traders, and released 1,049 animals. 

WRRT assisted Cambodian Customs officials
WRRT assisted Cambodian Customs officials
Ivory ensconced in heavy wax
Ivory ensconced in heavy wax

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Feb 16, 2017

Chhouk, the Elephant, Receives a New Prosthethetic Foot

Chhouk happily approves of his new boot!
Chhouk happily approves of his new boot!

Chhouk, our young disabled male elephant, recently received a new prosthetic foot. At ten years old, Chhouk continues to grow quickly and is going through prosthetics just as fast! Late last year, the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (CSPO) fitted Chhouk and made him a new shoe. The new design is lighter, stronger, and quicker for our staff to change. The new shoe quickly got Chhouk’s approval and he was running around his enclosure within minutes of trying on the new shoe!

Chhouk was found in 2007, at less than a year old, wandering alone in the forest in Northeast Cambodia. He had not only lost his foot to a poacher’s snare, but he was also gravely ill from the infected wound and severely malnourished. To gain his trust, our rescuers cared for him in the forest for two weeks before transporting him to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center where specialists were able to heal his wounds. Unfortunately, Chhouk’s lower leg had to be amputated but was replaced by a prosthesis from CSPO, which has changed his life completely. Our elephant keepers have trained Chhouk using only reward based positive reinforcement in order to effectively change his prosthetic leg. He is the first elephant in Cambodia to receive a prosthesis and is celebrated as a successful rescue story. Asian elephants are nearly full size at 15 years old, but continue to grow in size and weight until they are around 20-25 years old! At this rate, Chhouk will continue to outgrow his prosthetic legs, but thanks to the diligence of his keepers and CSPO, Chhouk won’t let his disability slow him down! 

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center was very busy as 2016 came to a close. In the final quarter, 168 animals arrived at Phnom Tamao, either through confiscation or donation; 11 animals were born including 3 smooth-coated otters, 2 silvered langurs, 5 Elds deer, and 2 muntjac; and 147 animals were released either within the Phnom Tamao Protected Forest or in Koh Kong by the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team. Thank you so much for your generous support of our Care for Rescued Wildlife program and for helping us give thousands of animals a second chance at a life in the wild!

A new lighter and stronger prosthetic foot.
A new lighter and stronger prosthetic foot.
Snack time for baby langurs at the nursery!
Snack time for baby langurs at the nursery!
 
   

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