Rare clouded leopard in the Cardamoms
The ultimate goal of our work is to ensure that wild animals stay wild, so we are happy to report that we are finding an increase of local wildlife in our protected forest area! Near our Wildlife Release Station, set deep in the Southern Cardamom Rainforest in Cambodia, a flock of endangered green peafowl is regularly seen, as well as crested serpent eagles and great and wreathed hornbills. Animals such as sambar, muntjac, mouse deer, wild pigs, porcupines and small predators such as leopard cats and different species of civets are increasingly being captured by our camera traps. However, the most exciting capture was in August and again in September, where we found images of a clouded leopard roaming around the tropical rainforest! The photo quality is poor, but the markings are unmistakable. These beautiful cats are gaining popularity in commercial markets, and are increasingly being hunted for their unique spotted fur. Clouded leopards are particularly difficult to breed in captivity, suggesting that the majority are poached from the wild. Evidence of a clouded leopard population in the Southern Cardamoms makes it imperative for us to continue to provide critical protection to their habitat.
Wildlife Alliance has turned the Southern Cardamoms into a safe haven for these animals – eco lodges have been built so that tourists can see firsthand these animals in their natural habitat, and community rangers have been employed from nearby villages to provide added security. By actively engaging the local community, we can ensure the protection of the surrounding forest and wildlife. This year, the community ranger program has been strengthened with a new Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Chi Phat Police Station that allows for police officers to join the community rangers on their patrols. The officers will have legal authorization to arrest hunters and seize evidence, making the rangers even more effective.
Constant vigilance is the cost of keeping the Southern Cardamom forest safe and maintaining its high level of biodiversity. At only $105 a patrol, the added protection these community rangers provide is invaluable. Thank you for supporting our ranger programs this year, and helping us keep wildlife wild! Your gifts allow us to conduct wildlife releases with increased confidence and ensure the safety of the growing local wildlife population. And don’t forget to stay at our eco lodge on your next vacation. Click here to book a room today!
Binturongs or bearcats are listed as Vulnerable
Leopard cats are frequently released and spotted
Great hornbills are found flying above
Aerial view of a group of wild boar
Sambar deer are now listed as Vulnerable