Cambodian Conservationists and Artists join forces to highlight the Snaring Crisis in Asia’s Forests
Wildlife in South East Asia is declining faster than anywhere else in the world. A recent study demonstrated that all large-bodied mammals in the region have lost more than 80% of their geographic ranges since 1900. Rhinoceros and the Cambodian national animal Kouprey are extinct in Cambodia, whilst tiger has not been recorded since 2007. A major driver of this extinction crisis is illegal hunting for wildlife meat largely through use of snares; which are simple and cheap to make and are incredibly efficient killers. Every year millions of snares are set throughout tropical Asia’s forests by organized criminal gangs targeting wildlife for their meat, which is then sold to the urban middle class. These silent killers carpet the tropical forests of the region, maiming, and killing any animal unlucky enough to get caught in then.
This crisis is the focus of a provocative art event titled “The Capture Project” jointly organized by international conservation organisations and local artists in Cambodia. “The focus of the event is to show to Cambodian people the consequences of eating wildlife meat” said the principal artist Dou Pothlimata, also known as Apple Love. “People are not aware that so many animals die or are injured from snares set in our forests”.
The art will be on display in Aeon Mall’s Daylight Plaza on Thursday 3rd August.
“Poachers’ snares are devastating Cambodia’s diverse and globally important wildlife populations. We need consumers to stop buying wildlife meat and simultaneously for the Cambodian government to effectively crackdown on the possession of snares in protected areas,” said Teak Seng, WWF-Cambodia Country Director. “We hope this event is the first step in a transformational approach to influence consumers of wild meat while also ensuring effective on-the-ground protection of the country’s forests and biodiversity.”
“The illegal wildlife trade is the biggest threat to biodiversity in Asia,” added Dr Thomas Gray, Director of Science for the NGO Wildlife Alliance, which is co-leading the event. “However it is often not appreciated that this illegal wildlife trade affects far more than tigers, elephants, and rhino. All animals in Asia’s forests are potentially impacted and snares are creating genuinely empty forests in which rats are often the largest animals left.”
“Cambodia is blessed with some of the richest and most biodiverse forests in the world, with many species that are unique to this country,” said Dr Jackson Frechette, Flagship Species Manager at Fauna & Flora International in Cambodia. “But snares, which kill indiscriminately, are putting wildlife and ecosystems at risk – we can already see the impact that it is having in the areas where we work. Cambodia has already lost its national animal – we need to act quickly before we lose any more of this precious natural heritage.”
Lee Poston, WWF Greater Mekong Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | +66 9188 322 90
Images are available.
Footage and images of the Provocative art produced are available at: