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Sep 4, 2018

Conservation turned to relief efforts

Relentless heavy rains last month caused massive flooding throughout much of western Cambodia. The village of Chi Phat, which Wildlife Alliance helps support through a community-based ecotourism program, was completely submerged in water, affecting 200 families. Wildlife Alliance Rangers took rice and other provisions to the affected families, many of which had to be delivered by boat. The rangers also checked on the welfare of the community members and transported an individual to the hospital because his boat was broken, leaving him stranded in his home.

As the flood waters recede, Wildlife Alliance continued to monitor the situation and provide support to communities as needed. Although Wildlife Alliance is primarily a conservation organization, we recognize that the wellbeing and support of the community members who live in the areas we protect is critical to our success. That is why Wildlife Alliance helped Chi Phat to develop and maintain an ecotourism program for 17 years and will continue to provide emergency relief.

Thank you for helping us support this community and empower them to develop sustainable livelihoods. To help support our emergency relief efforts and directly support the affected families, please consider making another donation today.

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Aug 27, 2018

Near threatened Great Hornbill saved by rangers

Wildlife Alliance rangers saved a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) (1.52kg). While on patrol, the rangers intercepted one motorbike carrying a suspicious bag. The driver threw the bag on the ground, abandoned his motorbike and disappeared in the forest.

The young Great Hornbill was brought to the Wildlife Release Station for medical care and will be released back into protected forest as soon as his condition improves.

Great hornbills are distributed widely throughout Asia, including China, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. These hornbills are mostly found in the forest canopy but spend nights in large communal roosts. They play a vital role in their ecosystem as they are one of the few bird species with a wide enough gape to consume and disperse large seeds, such as those of the trees in the genus Myristica.

Due to habitat loss and hunting in some areas, the great hornbill is evaluated as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES, granting it the highest form of protection in the international wildlife trade. Despite its wide range, Great hornbills appear in low densities and are patchily distributed. Its population is declining rapidly in many areas, including in Cambodia. Wildlife Alliance is helping to stabilize populations in Cambodia by protecting vital habitat in the Cardamom Mountains and rescuing them from the illegal wildlife trade.

Young hornbill saved from poacher
Young hornbill saved from poacher
Aug 21, 2018

Furniture shop illegally selling endangered wildlife parts

The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) searched a furniture shop in Cambodia’s capital after obtaining a warrant. Inside, they found the horns of Endangered and Vulnerable animals mounted on wood heads and nearly 100 feathers from endangered green peafowls. The horns consisted of three pairs of gaur (V) horns, one pair of sambar deer (V) horns, and three pairs of banteng (E) horns. These species all have declining populations, shrinking habitats and are heading towards extinction, and yet they are targeted by hunters so they can be turned into décor. The international trade in wildlife parts is one of the main threats facing all four of these species. The WRRT is combating the illegal wildlife trade by identifying and cracking down on trade networks.

The furniture shop owner was penalized with a hefty fine of $6,980.55 (27,922,200 KHR) for illegally selling endangered wildlife parts.

In another operation, the WRRT traveled to the northeast province of Ratanakiri to investigate a local market reputed to sell bushmeat. With information about a vendor selling wildlife meat behind beef, the team ambushed the market from two sides and sealed off the stalls selling beef.

After searching the stalls in question, the team found and confiscated 381 lbs (173 kg) of wildlife meat, including Sambar deer, red muntjac, wild pig, Burmese hare, porcupine, and Bengal monitor. All the meat was confiscated and destroyed.

Unfortunately, the sellers were not at their stalls when the team arrived and did not return once the team raided the stalls. Market vendors know that selling meat from wild animals is illegal, but because the WRRT covers the entire country, law enforcement from local government is needed to stomp out the illegal wildlife trade in local markets. The WRRT is working with local authorities to stop the illegal sale of wildlife in this market.

Thank you for helping us crack down on the illegal wildlife trade.

 
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