Snares indiscriminately kill and maim, and animals sometimes languish for days or weeks before dying from injuries, and in the rare case an animal escapes, it will often later die from injury or infection, the statement said.
"Snares are the principal threat to tigers in the region, and a major contributor to the fact they are now presumed extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam," said Seng Teak, country director of WWF-Cambodia.
This snaring crisis is also a key factor that leads to the population declines of other predators in the WWF's supported protected areas such as Indochinese leopards, clouded leopards, dholes and the prey on which these animals depend, like banteng, muntjac, wild pig, gaur, eld's deer and sambar deer, the statement said.
Teak praised rangers and authorities for law enforcement efforts and commended northeastern Mondulkiri provincial governor for issuing a circular last year to prohibit the purchase, sale, transport and consumption of wildlife species, with positive impact on the reduction of bushmeat availability in local markets and restaurants.
"Snaring remains a major concern to wildlife survival, and removing snares is not enough," he said. "Strengthened legislation, effective prosecution and increased penalty are crucial to end the trade in wild animals that are major targets for snaring - especially the ungulates, birds and reptiles which are at high risk of transmitting diseases to humans."
According to the statement, the WWF has estimated for the first time that some 12.3 million snares threaten wildlife in the protected areas of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, countries that are at the center of the regional snaring crisis.
These rudimentary traps, often made from wire or cable, increase close contact between humans and wildlife and the likelihood of zoonotic disease spillover, it said, adding that researchers have identified many of the animals targeted by snaring, including wild pig, palm civets, and pangolins, as among the highest risk for zoonotic disease transmission.
Driven in large part by the demand in urban areas for wildlife meat and wildlife parts, often seen as a delicacy, snares impact more than 700 of the region's terrestrial mammal species, including some of the region's most threatened species such as the Asian elephant, tiger, saola, eld's deer and banteng, the statement said. - Xinhua
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