Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Over 100,000 snares found in Cardamom National Park

Over 100,000 snares found in Cardamom National Park

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities sit next to the carcass of an elephant in Mondulkiri province in July, 2016, after it became ensnared in a trap. Photo supplied

Over 100,000 snares found in Cardamom National Park

Rangers in Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom National Park, along with the Wildlife Alliance, have removed 109,217 snares in just over six years, said Biodiversity Conservation, highlighting the scale of the poaching epidemic in Southeast Asia.

However, Nick Marx, Wildlife Alliance’s director of wildlife rescue and care, said the figure only included snares that were found and that at least double the number of traps were left undiscovered.

“Snares are set in every forest,” he said, adding that their numbers kept increasing every year. “It’s certainly not dropping,” Marx said, noting that all species were ensnared.

He speculated that the reason for such a high number of traps is that snares are easy to use and inexpensive.

He stressed “that all wildlife will ultimately be killed, including elephants, which is what is happening at present . . . because snares are cheap, easy to use, a lazy form of hunting, and not properly controlled or enforced”.

The danger of snares, Marx said, is that they are indiscriminate killers that don’t take rarity into account.

‘Little implementation of the law’

“Snares are the most indiscriminate and destructive form of hunting. They are cheap and easy, set in the thousands, blanket all forests, capture common and endangered species alike, frequently go unchecked and are therefore extremely cruel.

“Set as they are in Cambodia, the snares will wipe out every living ground mammal over time. We are seeing many elephant calves with snares attached to a leg. The pachyderms will almost certainly die and go extinct in the country.”

Marx added: “There is little implementation of the law governing snares and little or no penalties handed out to those setting the snares if they have not captured any wildlife.

“The snare scourge is not taken seriously and is perhaps an indication of the little interest authorities have in protecting our remaining wildlife.

“Frankly, for NGOs to simply increase the number of rangers employed to remove snares is expensive. The government should help more with legislation and strict penalties.”

A ranger involved in the mass-scale snare removal, who asked not be named, said: “It is difficult to crack down on the poachers as they have connections with some high-ranking officials who like to consume wild animals.

“They include senior police, military and provincial officials . . . There is a huge market for wildlife and some rangers also worked with the poachers so it is easy to catch wildlife.”

Eang Sophalleth, a spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, and Chea Sam Ang, head of the Environment Ministry’s General Directorate for Administration of Nature Conservation and Protection, said they were unaware of the report or that there was an operation to remove the snares.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Sihanoukville building collapse death toll rises to 19

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Sunday that the government will act against those responsible for the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville on Saturday, which resulted in 19 dead and 24 injured as of Sunday evening. Sar Kheng said three Chinese nationals and one

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials