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:


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one