Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Snaring may spawn diseases



Snaring may spawn diseases

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Park rangers pose with snares found in the Kingdom’s Eastern Plains Landscape, a protected area in Mondolkiri province. WWF

Snaring may spawn diseases

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans.

Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’s Snaring Crisis estimates that 12.3 million snares threaten wildlife survival in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

A WWF press release said: “High-risk trade in wildlife threatens ecosystems and risks exposure to zoonotic diseases. About 12.3 million snares threaten wildlife survival in the protected areas of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.”

The report said most traps are made from wire or cable, and traps increase the chances of close contact between humans and wildlife and the likelihood of a zoonotic disease spillover.

Researchers have found that many of the animals targeted by snaring, including wild boar, palm civets, and pangolins carry the highest risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

WWF Tigers Alive Initiative head Stuart Chapman said: “Indiscriminately killing and maiming, snares are wiping out the region’s wildlife, regardless of species.

“Snares are destroying wildlife in the region – from big species such as tigers and elephants to pangolins and palm civets – and emptying forests of wildlife.

“Wildlife doesn’t stand a chance unless Southeast Asian governments urgently tackle the snaring crisis.”

The report said the demand in urban areas for wildlife meat and wildlife parts has pushed poachers to catch more wildlife.

Snares impact more than 700 of the region’s terrestrial mammal species. These include some of the region’s most threatened species, such as elephants, tigers, saolas, deer and banteng.

A total of 234,291 snares were collected from five protected areas in Cambodia from 2010 to 2019, the report said.

WWF-Cambodia country director Seng Teak said the snares are the principal threat to tigers in the region and a major contributor to the presumption of their extinction in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

He said the snaring crisis is a major factor leading to population declines of predators in the WWF’s protected areas, including Indochinese leopards, clouded leopards, dholes and the prey on which these animals depend like banteng, muntjac, wild boar, gaur, eld’s deer and sambar deer.

Teak said: “I commend the law enforcement efforts made by the rangers and law enforcement officers from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“I am also encouraged by the 2019 Mondulkiri governor’s Circular No 5 which prohibits the purchase, sale, transportation and consumption of wildlife species, which has led to a reduction of bushmeat availability in local markets and restaurants.”

WWF is advocating the implementation of a “One Health” approach linking the health of people and animals.

WWF urged this approach to be included in the decision-making process on wildlife and land-use change and be incorporated into all business and financing decisions, especially related to global health.

“Snaring remains a major concern to wildlife survival. And removing snares from the forest alone is not enough. Strengthened legislation, effective prosecution and increased penalties are crucial to end the trade in wild animals that are major targets for snaring,” Teak said.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the snare was a hidden killer of Cambodian wildlife. He said the removal of all types of snares from protected areas in the first six months of the year totalled 20,179, saving thousands of wildlife.

More than 40,000 snares, he said, were removed from protected areas last year.

“Snares are a threat to some of the most endangered species on the planet. Keeping ahead of the threat of snaring by hunters, rangers from the ministry not only patrol to prevent the destruction of natural resources and deforestation but also search for snares,” Pheaktra said.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma