Equip Rangers to Protect Endangered Wildlife

by Wildlife Alliance
Vetted
Ranger sets a camera trap.
Ranger sets a camera trap.

Tigers once roamed the entire continent of Asia, but with human expansion they have lost over 93% of their original range. They now survive in small, isolated pockets of forest, where they are vulnerable to poaching and inbreeding.  Out of the six existing tiger subspecies, four subspecies have been classified as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), while the other two subspecies have been listed as Critically Endangered.  Poaching, habitat loss and habitat degradation are causing global tiger populations to plummet.  Today, there are only an estimated 3,000-3,600 tigers remaining worldwide. 

The Indochinese tiger, native to Cambodia, has recently been declared functionally extinct in the country.  Fortunately, Cambodia is committed to conserving tigers in the region and has launched the Cambodia Tiger Action Plan (CTAP) as part of Tx2, a global initiative to double the number of tigers worldwide by 2022.  Wildlife Alliance will be a key player in this initiative and is working closely with the government on possible tiger reintroduction into protected forest.  Our initial step has been to conduct a prey base survey in order to determine suitable habitats where tigers can possibly be reintroduced.  Wildlife Alliance has set up camera traps at a pilot site in the Cardamom forest to determine the prey base in the area.  Early photos have shown that there is a high number of sambar deer and wild pigs in the area. Though unlikely, Wildlife Alliance is also monitoring the photos for any evidence of existing tigers in the area. 

Wildlife Alliance's rangers will be key to the success of the reintroduction of tigers to Cambodia. They will protect the forest from poachers targeting tigers and their prey and will prevent habitat loss and degredation in the Cardamom forest.  Thank you for supporting our rangers who strive to make the Cardamom rainforest safe for all its wild inhabitants! 

Step 1: Tiger prey base survey.
Step 1: Tiger prey base survey.
Tigers are functionally extinct in Cambodia.
Tigers are functionally extinct in Cambodia.
The Southern Cardamom National Park landscape
The Southern Cardamom National Park landscape

Wildlife Alliance received exciting news recently when Cambodia’s Minister of Environment announced that the Southern Cardamom forests will now be protected as a National Park!  Wildlife Alliance’s forest rangers have been working with Forestry Administration to protect this vulnerable forest since 2002.  The forest’s newly designated name, The Southern Cardamom National Park, will provide the land and animals with additional legal protection and will help prevent future degradation to the vulnerable habitat. The Southern Cardamom ecosystem is vital to maintaining one of Asia’s last remaining elephant corridors, a strip of land that allows elephants to move to different habitats, and one of the region’s last continuous rainforests.

Wildlife Alliance’s forest rangers stepped in to protect the forest in 2002, when a freeway connecting Cambodia and Thailand opened, cutting through 1100 km of previously untouched forest.  The freeway not only fragmented the forest, but also gave poachers easy access to the previously untouched heart of the forest.  In April 2002, poachers took the lives of 37 elephants and 12 tigers, and land grabbers lit 37-40 forest fires every day for slash and burn farming.  This crisis spurred Wildlife Alliance to protect the forest.  At the time, there were no rangers or central government protection in the Southern Cardamom forest. 

Wildlife Alliance has played a critical role in healing the forest by employing 98 forest rangers across 6 ranger stations in the Southern Cardamoms, protecting approximately 2 million acres of land. 

The forest’s designation as a National Park will help provide legal protection the Southern Cardamom forest and prevent against forest fires for land grabbing, illegal logging, and wildlife poaching for many years to come.  Thank you for your support of our forest rangers.   Your support has been critical to getting the Southern Cardamom forest to where it is today, a new National Park.

Beautiful waterfall in the new National Park.
Beautiful waterfall in the new National Park.
Rescued baby black bear cub
Rescued baby black bear cub

On January 13, 2016, Wildlife Alliance's forest rangers rescued an Asiatic black bear cub that was being smuggled out of the Cardamom forest. Rangers from our Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program intercepted the trader in Thmar Bang in Koh Kong province. The 3-month old cub, weighing only 8 pounds, was taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center to be cared for by Free the Bears.

Sadly, sun bears and other Asian bear species are being brutally targeted by poachers in Cambodia for their body parts which are used in traditional medicine. Because of this active trade in bears and bear parts, their populations - especially in Southeast Asia – are rapidly declining. Cubs are torn from their mothers and sold into the pet trade. When they get bigger, they end up imprisoned in tiny cages or sold to bile farms in Vietnam. Wildlife Alliance has been working since 2001 to end the trade of wildlife in Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia. Since then, over 160 trafficked bears have been rescued. However, the international demand remains high and continued efforts are needed to ensure the long-term survival of bears in region.

In the same month, the rangers also seized a truck carrying 47 tons of illegal timber. The forest ranger station advisor received a tip about a truck carrying illegal timber attempting to leave Aural Wildlife Sanctuary. The station advisor reported the information to Wildlife Alliance's Law Enforcement Manager who instructed the ranger unit to ambush the truck. To prevent the driver from being tipped off, the nearest ranger station did not conduct the operation    informants are often posted at nearby ranger stations to provide information to the drivers and prevent law enforcement from successfully confiscating the timber. Instead, rangers from a further station found the truck on the road leaving Aural Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounded the vehicle. The team found 47 tons of rosewood and other precious timber on the truck and it was taken to the station for further legal action.

Wildlife Alliance’s Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program partners with the Cambodian government to provide on-the-ground protection to one of Asia’s last remaining elephant corridors. Our forest rangers work day and night, risking their lives to protect nearly 2 million acres of rainforest and the countless wildlife that reside in this expansive forest.

Thank you for your important contribution! Your gift makes it possible for our rangers to stop illegal loggers and wildlife poachers from removing our most precious natural rescources. 

47 tons of precious timber that was confiscated
47 tons of precious timber that was confiscated
Forest rangers on patrol
Forest rangers on patrol
The 2 millions acres of forest the rangers protect
The 2 millions acres of forest the rangers protect
Rare clouded leopard in the Cardamoms
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
Binturongs or bearcats are listed as Vulnerable
Leopard cats are frequently released and spotted
Leopard cats are frequently released and spotted
Great hornbills are found flying above
Great hornbills are found flying above
Aerial view of a group of wild boar
Aerial view of a group of wild boar
Sambar deer are now listed as Vulnerable
Sambar deer are now listed as Vulnerable
Elephants are returning to Cambodia
Elephants are returning to Cambodia

Wildlife and forest protection is often an uphill battle, and we are excited to share some good news for a change.

For the first time ever, a herd of wild elephants were caught on camera in the Southern Cardamoms of Cambodia. While elephant sightings by locals have been on the rise since 2012, this is the first time elephants have been caught on camera in this part of the country. The discovery of this herd is important confirmation that Wildlife Alliance’s efforts to protect vital wildlife habitat is helping elephant populations recover. Watch the video here.

There are less than 35,000 Asian elephants remaining in the wild, and only an estimated 200 elephants in Cambodia. The finding of this herd makes it confirms that we must continue to maintain our presence in the Cardamom Mountains, because every single elephant here is critical to the survival of the species in Cambodia. Between 2001 and 2002, 37 elephants were reported killed in the Southern Cardamoms preceding the implementation of Wildlife Alliance’s forest protection program. Since 2006, there have been zero deaths reported. Wildlife Alliance, in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia, operates six forest ranger stations whose mandate is to safeguard 1.7 million acres of tropical rainforest. The Southern Cardamoms are part of a mosaic of Protected Areas and Protected Forests that form Cambodia’s largest intact forest and one of Asia’s last remaining elephant corridors. Wildlife Alliance’s constant monitoring, repeated awareness campaigns, and strict enforcement of wildlife laws has curbed forest crime in the Southern Cardamoms and given elephant populations an opportunity to rebound. As increasing pressure is being placed on the remaining elephant habitat, and human-elephant conflict is expected to rise, it is important for Wildlife Alliance to continue its comprehensive conservation plan to ensure that this globally significant species is protected.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to protecting forests in Southeast Asia. Your gift is making a difference, and we you will make it go even further this Bonus Day! On September 16th, donations of up to $1,000 made through GlobalGiving will be matched at 30% while funds last - hurry because funds run out quickly! With your help, we can continue to protect Cambodia's wildlife and forests!

Links:

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Wildlife Alliance

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.wildlifealliance.org
Project Leader:
Chloe Lala-Katz
Communications and Finance Field Liaison
New York, NY United States
$15,016 raised of $30,000 goal
 
 
320 donations
$14,984 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.