Some 4,000 individuals of Banteng, listed as a globally Endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, are inhabiting Cambodia.
“Bantengs prefer to roam the open and dry deciduous forests where grassy vegetation is found in abundance. They are found scattered across Cambodia, especially in the southwest, north and northwest, as well as a small number in Vietnam. Cambodia probably has the majority of the total wild population. Currently, the population is estimated to be at around 4,000 individuals,” said WCS Cambodia in a press release.
Its population has dramatically decreased over the last few decades, mostly due to habitat loss and hunting for meat and horns, said the same source, adding that diseases and parasites transmitted by domestic livestock are also serious threats to its continued survival.
‘’Banteng is classified as “rare” wildlife in Prakas No 020 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery. According to Cambodia Protected Area Law, Article 61: third grade natural resource offense, those who committed wildlife offences such as catching, trapping, hunting, causing injury, poisoning, killing, taking out, collecting eggs and off springs from their original habitats of any vulnerable, rare, or critically endangered wildlife species shall carry a penalty of 1 – 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine from 15,000,000 Riel (about US$4,000) to 150,000,000 Riel (about US$40,000).
To protect this endangered species, WCS in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment work to protect Banteng’s habitat across their range in protected areas with support from the USAID Keo Seima Conservation Project, according to a recent post on WCS Facebook Page.” Phal Sophanith – AKP