Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forum to protect Eld’s deer

Forum to protect Eld’s deer

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
There are approximately 3,000 Eld’s deer left in Southeast Asia, BirdLife International Cambodia’s programme manager Bou Vorsak said on Tuesday. jonathan eames

Forum to protect Eld’s deer

Around 50 officers and wildlife conservationists from China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia gathered in Phnom Penh for a workshop intended as a forum to share information to help provide better protection for the Eld’s deer.

The species is now a rare and endangered one due to a loss of habitat to urbanisation as well as the expansion and intensification of agriculture. The workshop is being held from Tuesday to Thursday.

Bou Vorsak, Cambodia programme manager at BirdLife International, told The Post on Tuesday that there are only around 3,000 Eld’s deer left in Southeast Asia.

Their population in Cambodia and Laos is threatened and fragmented and is less than that in India and Myanmar. None have been found in Thailand and Vietnam. In China, Eld’s deer are protected in fenced-off nature reserves.

Vorsak said Cambodia does not have detailed studies on Eld’s deer, which were once wildly distributed across lowland dry forests in tropical Southeast Asia.

“To protect and preserve rare and endangered spices for future generations, we need to stop deforestation and hunting,” he said.

Data obtained by The Post from BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) revealed that between 2003 and 2006, about 300 Eld’s deer lived in Cambodian forests.

More than 50 Eld’s deer were found in lowland dry forest in Stung Treng province’s Siem Pang district, 100 in Mondulkiri province’s Srepok and Phnom Prich wildlife sanctuaries, 60 in Preah Vihear province’s Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary and 100 in Phnom Srok district’s Ang Trapeang Thmor Crane Reserve in Banteay Meanchey province.

‘Everybody’s responsible’

Data from Ang Trapeang Thmor Crane Reserve which was surveyed early this year indicated the number of Eld’s deer saw a sharp decrease, said WCS country director Ken Sereyrotha on Tuesday.

“Our team conducted research early this year at Ang Trapeang Thmor [Crane] Reserve which revealed that there were only 30 Eld’s deer remaining in the area. Its rapid decline has caused major concerns and we demand that all relevant parties protect, preserve and restore this endangered species,” he said.

WWF Cambodia country director Seng Teak said: “Protecting and conserving forests and wildlife is not only the responsibility of a single person or organisation but that of everybody,” he said.

Dr Bosco Pui Lok Chan, head of Hong Kong’s Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, said Eld’s deer are facing major threats due to a loss of habitat and the lack of focus from governments, communities and conservationists.

“This workshop is a rare and timely opportunity for key stakeholders to sit in one room and discuss the various issues of Eld’s deer conservation and hopefully, come up with a tangible solution to turn the tide,” Dr Chan said.

Sarah Brook, an IUCN Coordinator, said Eld’s deer is a food source for carnivorous animals and has become endangered and a little-studied species, suffering from the lack of focus and conservation.

“We are very likely to see the further loss of deer species in Asia. Recovery is possible though, and hopefully through concerted and collaborative actions inspired by this workshop, we can reverse the decline of Eld’s deer,” Brook said.

During the three-day workshop, jointly organised by Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden and BirdLife International Cambodia Programme, participants were invited to visit the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre on Wednesday to gain experience in the conservation of endangered species from experts.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a