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Poaching continues in Oddar Meanchey community forest

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The environment department grants the Sorng Rukhavorn community forest $20,000 per year for their patrolling activities. WWF

Poaching continues in Oddar Meanchey community forest

Villagers found four wildlife carcasses in separate locations in the Sorng Rukhavorn community forest in Oddar Meanchey province while on patrol on Monday.

The venerable Bun Saluth, head of the Sorng Rukhavorn community forest, said on Tuesday that he led 10 monks and other community members to patrol the forest and found a total of four carcasses, including a two Sambar deer, a muntjac and a palm civet.

He said the deer may have been shot with home-made rifles about two weeks ago based on their decomposition.

“Poaching for wildlife is happening a lot. The hunters use home-made rifles and snares, which threaten the remaining animals in the area,” he said, and called on the people to protect and preserve wildlife and biodiversity.

Provincial environment department director Phuong Lina said forest rangers and Sorng Rukhavorn community forest members are working together to prevent forest crimes, but some poachers committed crimes at night, making it difficult to arrest them.

The department set three checkpoints in the community forest on Tuesday and rangers will guard them at night and also during the day, he said.

“The environment department grants the community forest $20,000 per year for their patrolling activity. We will continue doing this to protect wildlife,” he said.

Separately, a tour guide from Sam Veasna Centre and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) spotted two gaurs when they were guiding foreign tourists to visit Chheb Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear province on Monday.

WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha said on Tuesday that the gaur is listed as an endangered species and the sanctuary is an important habitat for the species.

After spotting the presence of the gaur, WCS and environment officials took measures to monitor their activities so that it’s easy for them to protect it.

“Before, we never spotted gaur at the sanctuary, but now the tour guide spotted it and reported it to WCS. We assigned experts to monitor it because we are concerned about it being hunted,” he said.

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