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Wildlife poaching remains a concern

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A deer dies after being caught in a snare in Preah Sihanouk. Wildlife Alliance

With more than 17,000 wild animal traps confiscated last year, environment officials said poaching and forest land encroachment remain a concern.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said some rare and critically endangered wild animals have been threatened by hunting, trapping and habitat loss due to deforestation and forest land encroachment, and thus require effective protection.

Mr Pheaktra said the government has paid high attention to preserve and conserve biodiversity areas, including animals and plants in protected areas.

He said that all stakeholders should join hands to protect wildlife, especially putting an end to wildlife trading.

“Rangers and relevant authorities in the provinces have regularly inspected markets and restaurants to cease the trade of bushmeats,” he said, adding that once wild animal meat is seen on sale, people should contact law enforcement officials for intervention.

Mr Pheaktra said that rangers stationed at any protected areas removed a total of 17,175 traps from the forest last year, an increase of 5,000 traps over the previous year.

He said that most of the traps were retrieved from Koh Kong province.

“Wild animals and plants are beneficial for ecological, social, genetic, economic, scientific, educational and cultural aspects, as well as provide connection to human life and sustainable development,” he said.

“Cambodia, as a member of the United Nations, is ready to cooperate with all countries in the conservation of natural resources and curb wildlife trafficking,” he added.

Venerable Bun Saluoth, head of the Monks Community Forest (MCF) in Oddar Meanchey province, said tough actions must be taken against wildlife poachers.

“Over the past two years, our concerns have been wildlife poaching, trapping and catching by using electrified equipment. So, I would like to call on everyone to protect and conserve the wildlife altogether,” Ven Saluoth said.

He said that relevant ministries, institutions and local authorities should strengthen law enforcement and stamp out wildlife trade.

Rangers last week also spotted a lot of rare and critically endangered animals caught on 12 cameras from April last year to April this year in Ratanakiri province’s Virachey National Park.

The animals included gaurs, clouded leopard, deer, roe deer, serow, civet, wild boar, bear and rare birds.

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