The number of endangered animals in Srepok and Phnom Prich wildlife sanctuaries in Mondulkiri province is still declining remarkably due to snares and the use of shotguns and hounds, according to Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra.

On the positive side, while the number of such animals including wild bovine is decreasing, others such as white-tailed monkeys and silvered langur have seen a steady or slight increase in population while some bird species including vultures in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary are making a comeback, Pheaktra said, citing a research report from the provincial environment department and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Cambodia).

Pheaktra was on a visit to Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in the province's Koh Nhek district on September 2 to examine a study by experts from the department and WWF Cambodia.

He made the visit to learn more about the management and conservation of natural resources in the sanctuary -- the largest mixed forest area in Southeast Asia spanning more than 370,000ha.

He continued that all parties are continuing their efforts to conserve wildlife and put in place various measures to protect them.

“Setting up traps, hunting and catching wild animals by illegally using hounds are the factors that threaten wildlife in natural protected areas. All parties are required to join hands to address the problems of snares to protect wildlife, their habitats, water sources and foraging sites,” he said.

WWF Cambodia's biodiversity research and monitoring manager Milou Groenenberg said that compared to wildlife data in the Srepok and Phnom Prich wildlife sanctuaries over the last 11 years, the Banteng population has dropped by 89 per cent from 3,013 in 2010 to 439 in 2022.

The environment ministry has been expanding its zero-snaring campaign in a bid to protect wild animals.