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WWF expresses sorrow over loss of globally endangered wildlife

Khan Sophirom / AKP Share:

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) shared its sadness over the loss of two adult female Banteng in Northeastern part of Cambodia, according to its statement released recently.

The two Banteng are believed to have been shot dead a few days inside Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri province.

The officials with the Provincial Department of Environment and the Forestry Administration Cantonment have discovered on May 13, 2020 the animals’ carcasses inside the protected area and decided to bury the animals at the location where they were found.

The passing of these Banteng represents a significant loss of a globally important wild cattle species, already listed on the IUCN Red List as globally endangered. The Banteng population is threatened by a series of substantial pressures from poaching, snaring, habitat fragmentation and loss.

“WWF condemns this shameful killing of the two reproductive-age females Banteng and strongly urges necessary investigations be swiftly conducted to apprehend and bring those who were involved in the killing to court. WWF stands ready to cooperate with the Provincial Department of Environment of the Ministry of Environment and other provincial enforcement authorities to help boost the investigation effort to ensure that those who committed this disgraceful act of wildlife crime will not run free”.

Besides, in a separate event, members of the river guards in Steung Treng province discovered early this week a dead dolphin calf floating in Cheu Teal Dolphin pool. WWF is saddened by the loss of this female calf Dolphin of 13kg and 10-day of age.

An initial assessment by WWF’s and Government’s wildlife researchers suggested that the calf died of unknown causes as the group observed no sign of any physical injury neither from gillnet nor attack by other Dolphins. The researchers group collected the Dolphin’s carcass for further examinations to determine the exact cause of death.

Currently, banteng or Bos javanicus is listed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. This animal looks similar to domestic cattle, up to 1.65 metre in height and a maximum of 800 kilogrammes in weight.

According to the IUCN, its population is between 4,000 to 8,000. The main threat faced by banteng is hunting for meat and horns. Its population has decreased dramatically in the last few decades. Diseases and parasites transmitted by domestic and feral livestock are also serious threats to its continued survival.

Cambodia is home to an estimated number of 2,700-5,700 banteng, which is the world’s largest banteng population.

The Irrawaddy dolphin symbolises the magnificence of the Mekong River and its continued high biodiversity. The lasted surveys showed that only 92 Irrawaddy Dolphins inhabit the Mekong River. Even this low number would make the Mekong subpopulation the largest of only five remaining critically endangered freshwater populations of this species in the world.

The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) inhabits a 190km stretch of the mainstream Mekong River between Kratie, Cambodia and Khone Falls on the border with Lao PDR.

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