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.
Nov 18, 2016

Released Bird Returns After Injury

Wild at heart
Wild at heart

Recently, a rescued rufous-winged buzzard chick was brought to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC). He was originally cared for in our nursery and was moved to a larger cage as he steadily grew. When he was big enough to be released, keepers placed a feeding table on the ground outside his enclosure and opened the cage door – releasing him into the protected forest surrounding PTWRC. Although he left our care, the keepers regularly saw him in the trees just behind the Nursery and often heard his mewing calls. He was thriving in the wild, catching insects and small vertebrates, and never taking any of the meat the keepers continually put down for him. Around two months later, one of the keepers, Lerm, saw the buzzard by his old cage, eating the meat we continued to provide. A closer inspection revealed the bird had an injured leg. Unable to catch his own food, the buzzard was smart enough to eat the food we were providing. After discovering the debilitating injury, Lerm brought the buzzard back into his care to treat his leg, with plans to release him after recovery. The injury was nearly fully healed when Lerm entered his cage to feed him one day, but wild at heart, the bird saw his chance and escaped! Lerm still leaves a little meat out for him, but we expect the tenacious little bird will do quite well on his own.

This buzzard exemplifies just one of the many ways our keepers go above and beyond for rescued animals, both while they are in our care and after they have been released. Although the buzzard did not utilize the free meals his keepers provided after his release, they continued to provide the meat, just in case. This may have saved the young bird’s life.

Another way the keepers want to provide exceptional care for our rescued birds is to provide them with a free flight aviary. In just the third quarter of 2016, 257 birds were brought to PTWRC. The large enclosure will house multiple birds as they recover and will allow them to fly and socialize, preparing them for life in the wild. With $2,000 left to raise there are only 28 days left to donate to this campaign. Donate today to help return these birds to the wild.

Oct 26, 2016

Muntjac deer return to the forest

At Angkor, we're not just rewildling the historic forest with primates; we're also releasing key ungulate species that are vital to keeping an ecosystem healthy. Earlier this year, a female muntjac was brought to Angkor and placed in a large pre-release enclosure to prepare her for a life in the wild. Having spent her life in captivity, however, the female was very comforitable around humans, which is not a good quality in wild animals. We recently brought her a healthy male companion, who is much more wary of humans, to accompany her in the pre-release enclosure. The female was hand raised at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center and would take food right from her keepers' hands. Now that shw has a wary companion, she runs as soon as she sees people – a good sign that she may soon be ready for release. The muntjacs' large, forested pre-release enclosure provides a safe environment for the animals to acclimate to their new home and exposes them to the elements of the forest.  It also allows us to monitor their health and rehabilitation progress. This transitional step is key to ensuring a successful release for captive born animals. Once deemed ready, we perform a soft-release, whereby the door of the enclosure is simply left open and the muntjacs are free to leave when they feel comfortable. As they transition at their own pace to living in the wild, we continue to provide food for as long as necessary and monitor their progress in the wild. 

The muntjac pair has settled into their pre-release enclosure well and will soon be released. Then, we will monitor their behavior with camera traps to make sure they are safe and will listen for their calls in the forest! These small deer make a low bark-like sound that has given then the nickname of "barking deer."

Thank you for helping us repopulate this once barren forest with Cambodia's diverse wildlife. The forest surrounding this UNESCO World heritage site used to have excessive and unrestricted hunting, but with our protection, is now a safe haven for wildlife. 


Oct 26, 2016

Upgraded water supply to drought stricken village

Unveiling the newly renovated reservoir!
Unveiling the newly renovated reservoir!

Until recently when the rains finally returned, the villagers of Sovanna Baitong, home of Wildlife Alliance’s Community Agriculture Development Project, have not had water in their reservoir since March due to Cambodia’s worst drought in 50 years. Thankfully, the tides turned in late July when Mong Reththy Group and Wildlife Alliance revealed a new and improved reservoir in the village. The two groups held a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 29th to reveal the upgraded facilities, which was attended by local authorities and 150 villagers.

With the reservoir completely dry for the first time, His Excellency Oknha Mong Reththy came to the rescue of the families in Sovanna Baitong by helping Wildlife Alliance retrofit the water reservoir. In addition to deepening the reservoir, a vital spill gate was also added. Mong Reththy also helped complete the construction of a new bridge and upgrade the 2.5 km access road. The businessman felt a personal responsibility to help the village, and stressed the importance of giving back to local communities and contributing to Cambodia’s rural development. Suwanna Gauntlett, Wildlife Alliance’s founder and CEO agreed, noting that “this partnership will help boost economic development and reduce poverty in the Southwestern region.”

As there is no foreseeable end to climate change, the people of Sovanna Baitong can expect more droughts in their future. Now, with the ability to store rainwater during the wet season, they will be better equipped to deal with the changing weather patterns and will be less affected by drought. 

Thank you for helping us provide sustainable livlihoods to communities in rural Cambodia! 

WA CEO, Suwanna Gauntlett, & H.E. Mong Reththy
WA CEO, Suwanna Gauntlett, & H.E. Mong Reththy

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