Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WildScan app to help fight animal trafficking

WildScan app to help fight animal trafficking

Authorities inspect confiscated animals after they were seized during a raid in Kandal province earlier this year. Wildlife Alliance
Authorities inspect confiscated animals after they were seized during a raid in Kandal province earlier this year. Wildlife Alliance

WildScan app to help fight animal trafficking

A Khmer version of a smartphone app to help law enforcement deal with the illegal wildlife trade was launched yesterday.

WildScan was developed in Thailand by anti-wildlife trafficking organisation Freeland and funded by USAID as part of a five-year, $12 million response to endangered species across Southeast Asia and China.

The app helps users identify animals using photos and a process of elimination and contains 600 pages of information about 350 animals. It also links them to wildlife crime hotlines and animal rescue centres, where users can anonymously lodge reports if they notice something amiss.

Amy Van Nice, Wildlife Alliance’s deputy program director, said the app could be used by anyone – from jungle-exploring tourists to restaurant diners. WildScan project manager Matthew Pritchett said the app would be particularly helpful to law enforcement officers.

“Cambodia is increasingly being used to traffic wildlife from other countries, from more than thousands of kilometres away, that local law enforcement . . . may not be familiar with,” he said.

Lun Panha, a Forestry Administration officer, welcomed the app. “It helps a lot, especially as it tells me . . . which animals are rare or endangered species,” he said.

Andrea Stone, USAID’s natural resources officer, said the need for the app was keen, as wild animals continue to be targeted for their meat in Cambodia, but commended recent government efforts to prevent the cross-border crime.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol