Author Archives: wafauna

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GROUND-BREAKING DISCOVERY: Survey of uncharted Myanmar region finds Southeast Asia’s last great wilderness

Yangon, Myanmar (3 March) – The Karen Wildlife Conservation Initiative (KWCI), with financial support from WWF and other partners, have conducted six camera traps surveys in the hill forests of Northern Karen State, Myanmar, previously inaccessible to biologists and conservationists for security and political reasons. The surveys found at least 31 mammals including tigers, leopards and Asian Elephants. 17 of the 31 are categorised as Near Threatened, Vulnerable or Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

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“It is incredibly rare to find such rich and diverse wildlife anywhere in the world today but certainly in Southeast Asia.” said Clare Campbell, Director of Wildlife Asia, the Australian conservation NGO that coordinates the KWCI. “Thanks to the long-standing conservation efforts of the Karen people this area is a refuge for the last tigers in the region, Asian elephants and so much more.”

“Karen people have intricate knowledge of their forests and wildlife which is directly responsible for the abundant wildlife in this region,” said Saw Sha Bwe Moo, technical field expert for KWCI and lead author of the survey. “However, as the peace process brings rapid economic development to Myanmar we are seeing increased habitat destruction and wildlife poaching that have decimated much of the wilderness in other parts of Southeast Asia. We must act now if we are to protect this last great wilderness.”

According to the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment, 2015, Myanmar had the world’s third highest annual net loss of forest area between 2010–2015, behind only Brazil and Indonesia.

Poaching in the region, driven by the multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade, is also at critical levels. During the survey, multiple groups of poachers were caught on camera traps.

“The illegal wildlife trade is rapidly emptying Myanmar’s forests and proximity to the infamous Golden Triangle Region makes it particularly vulnerable,” said Nick Cox, WWF-Myanmar Conservation Director. “The illegal wildlife markets in Myanmar’s cities and along all its borders must be closed, and well-trained rangers are needed on the ground if Myanmar is to keep its incredible wildlife.”

The survey was carried out in four areas of Karen State from December 2014-–July 2015. Other important species found included Asiatic golden cat, sun bear, and dhole.

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For full survey see article published in Oryx Journal First structured camera-trap surveys in Karen State, Myanmar, reveal high diversity of globally threatened mammals (*1)

Wildlife Asia is an Australian based organisation committed to the preservation of high biodiversity landscapes in Asia. Acknowledging the significant work of the Karen people to date to protect wildlife in this region and respecting their cultural traditions we are growing our support to build local capacity and foundations for long-term sustainable management. This is the first time we have alerted the international community to the global significance of the wildlife harboured in Karen State and really presented the evidence for conservation investment.

Wildlife Asia acknowledges the generous support of our major donors to this project; Mr Peter Hall, Hunter Hall International, Rainforest Trust, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Balcombe Trust, WWF Myanmar, Zoos South Australia, Mr G Whitehead and the late Mr Martin Copely.


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Freedom for Javan gibbons

On August 10 another family of Javan gibbons were released back into Puntang Reserve in West Java. Mel, Pooh and baby Asri had undergone many years of rehabilitation at the Javan Gibbon Centre after being rescued from the illegal pet trade.

 

Wildlife Asia’s partner, the Silvery Gibbon Project supported the establishment of the JGC back in 2002 and since then has been instrumental in the development of the Reintroduction Program and also the operation of the very first Wildlife Protection Unit deployed to protect a population of gibbons.

 

The Javan gibbon, is the last remaining ape species found on the Indonesian island of Java. Now sharing their home with over 140 million people, very little habitat remains for wildlife. There are however a few viable populations remaining in National Parks and the Reintroduction Program also provides the opportunity to return gibbons to areas of forest where they have become locally extinct.

 

The illegal pet trade remains a problem for this species however and with a  recent spike in confiscation of gibbons en route to the Middle East, we need to ensure greater protection of wild populations and attempt to curb the trade.

 

If you would like to help more gibbons get back to the forest please consider becoming a regular donor to our gibbon programs.

 

 

 


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Leo DiCaprio visits Leuser!

Leonardo Di Caprio met with the team in Sumatra recently to get a first hand look at the impact of forest destruction in this region. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting our local partners to establish a Mega-Fauna Sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem and Leo personally is a strong advocate for forest protection globally. After his recent Oscar’s acceptance speech, Leo is becoming a voice for climate change and his focus on Leuser is providing enormous momentum in our efforts to make the world aware of the importance of saving this critical ecosystem.

Although initial reports in Indonesia focused on an investigation of his visit and potential ‘black-listing’ a more positive story emerged as the Minister of Environment and Forestry  declared her commitment to engage in further dialogue with Leo DiCaprio and expressed concern over the issues he raised.

The report below from The Jakarta Post;

Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Dr Siti Nurbaya, has declared her appreciation for the good intentions and sincerity of Leonardo DiCaprio after the Oscar-winning actor expressed his concerns that the home range of some key wildlife species continues to be reduced by the expansion of palm oil plantations in the Leuser Ecosystem. 

“My view is that DiCaprio’s concerns are both sincere and substantial, and he has certainly acted in good faith. In fact, we largely share his concerns on this matter. In light of this and to reciprocate his sincerity and good intentions, I am open to working together with DiCaprio in a joint effort whereby both of us can have our concerns addressed, including those that pertain to the Leuser Ecosystem,” the minister told foresthints.news in an exclusive interview on Saturday (Apr 2), on the sidelines of a three-day discussion on Indonesian climate change programs and their implementation which she is leading from April 1-3.

The minister added that she had reviewed all the procedures related to DiCaprio’s time in Indonesia, and especially his visit to the Gunung Leuser National Park, and found nothing untoward in the film star’s conduct. 

“There was even an official from my ministry serving in the province who accompanied DiCaprio on his visit, in particular when he went to see the orangutans in the Gunung Leuser National Park. It’s really not relevant to link the concerns conveyed by DiCaprio with immigration matters,” the minister affirmed.


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Racing Extinction in the Leuser Ecosystem Indiegogo Launch

Here it is!! Wildlife Asia is very excited to launch our crowd funding campaign. When we first learned of the Leuser Ecosystem and heard how the last place on Earth was being destroyed for Conflict Palm Oil, we knew we had to take action, and today we’re so proud to bring you Racing Extinction in the Leuser Ecosystem.

The key to this project is collaboration. We know that the companies responsible for the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem would rather nobody knew about it, so the first thing we can all do is share this with our friends! Spread the word via social media and let’s make the Leuser Ecosystem a household name so these companies can no longer hide!

Please share our campaign far and wide so that we can reach as many people as possible! THANK YOU for the support!

http://bit.ly/1MSsLEJ


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BREAKING NEWS: Poaching Crisis in the Leuser Ecosystem

One of our anti-poaching patrol teams in the Leuser Ecosystem just sent us these brutal images. In their 15 day patrol the 5 rangers destroyed 70 snares in total. This is extremely alarming since the total snares found for the whole of last year was 175. What’s worse is that five of this month’s snares had wildlife already trapped in them.

Three of the snares had killed porcupines which are hunted and cut open for the bezoar stone they may or may not have in their stomach, prized for unproven medicinal value on the black market. Porcupine snares frequently also maim and kill other endangered species like young tigers, sunbears and primates.

The team found a Thomas Leaf Monkey in one of the snares, dead for perhaps 3 days. Its mouth twisted in a grimace made plain the long painful struggle it must have gone through trying in vain to escape tightening wire. This is a particularly cruel way to die – a slow agony. A poacher had set this snare in the mouth of a porcupine’s den so the monkey had likely been seeking insects with his troop on the ground and reached into the hole, activating the trigger which wrenched him upwards and snared him by the arm.

One animal had more luck against the poachers: the rangers found a wild pig still alive in a snare, thrashing around madly – caught by the snout. With some effort, the team managed to release the injured pig and it ran into the forest.

In the last month, three critically endangered Sumatran elephants have been killed in oil palm plantations and this year there have been several major busts of wildlife traders attempting to smuggle live Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tiger body parts, and even 5 tonnes of frozen pangolins.

 

We urgently need more teams to stay ahead of the poachers before it is too late for the incredible wildlife of the Leuser Ecosystem. With your regular donation each month we can hire and equip more rangers, stop more poachers, and save more animals. Every dollar counts so please join us in combating the poaching crisis today! Http://www.orangutan.org.au/HAKA/donate

By becoming a regular donor to Wildlife Asia you can help to keep rangers in the field all year round. Sign up here.

 


Coming soon!

FaceBook

  • 23/Mar/2017 05:42
  • 23/Mar/2017 02:58
  • Meet Delilah: A baby Sumatran rhino! LIKE if you think we should save this amazing creature!
    23/Mar/2017 02:37
  • That's me, right up front, in another awesome session with Nick Bowditch today! To small organisati
    22/Mar/2017 12:04
  • Celebrities who DON'T ride elephants. It's a good start right? Fredrik Eklund
    22/Mar/2017 08:12
  • Wanicare Foundation has rescued two Javan leopards in two days! In densely populated countries hum
    21/Mar/2017 11:55
  • We asked our Javan Gibbon Center Manager, Anton, what he thinks is the most interesting thing about
    18/Mar/2017 01:05
  • Want fries with that? Pepsi, McDonalds, Nestle and other major brands implicated in illegal forest d
    17/Mar/2017 15:05
  • It's FRIDAY! Have a great weekend everyone. #SaveLeuserEcosystem The Orangutan Project Forest Natur
    17/Mar/2017 04:45
  • The sun is shining in Java and the gibbons sure are happppyyyyy! Javan Gibbon Center International P
    14/Mar/2017 08:31
  • Great news for a Monday morning! #SaveLeuserEcosystem
    13/Mar/2017 03:11
  • Electricity or elephants? They're both kinda important right? Should we draw the line on foreign
    10/Mar/2017 06:34
  • JUST WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO IN MYANMAR? For the last 5 years, Wildlife Asia has been working alongs
    09/Mar/2017 00:10
  • It is a sad indictment of humanity when we cannot even keep these animals in zoos safe and secure fr
    08/Mar/2017 05:46
  • This is Irma. Irma is a Javan gibbon rescued from smugglers who were attempting to fly out of Indone
    08/Mar/2017 02:00
  • This trumps Trump! *INCREDIBLE WILDERNESS DISCOVERED IN MYANMAR* Elephants are under considerable p
    07/Mar/2017 19:05
  • Community driven conservation initiatives have the greatest chance of long-term success. The Salween
    04/Mar/2017 00:45
  • With so much terrifying environmental news flooding our pages, sometimes we just need a little bit o
    03/Mar/2017 09:20
  • WORLD WILDLIFE DAY BRINGS STORY OF HOPE From Wildlife Asia Executive Director : "It's a once-in-a-li
    03/Mar/2017 05:43
  • *GROUND-BREAKING DISCOVERY * - Today is World Wildlife Day and we are thrilled to announce the disco
    02/Mar/2017 16:30
  • Is hydropower really greener energy? An interesting new study found that hydropower is a major emi
    02/Mar/2017 07:45
  • Perth friends, tomorrow (Wednesday) 5pm is your last chance to get your tickets for Lion! Visit the
    28/Feb/2017 04:22
  • UPDATE: Only 2 SPOTS LEFT to join the Last Place on Earth Challenge. When else would you be climbing
    21/Feb/2017 04:18
  • An update from Puntang, Java, where Mel, Pooh, Asri and their new baby are soaking up the rainy seas
    20/Feb/2017 04:00
  • Come join us on March 6 for the screening of 'Lion' at Burswood Outdoor Cinemas with all profits sup
    20/Feb/2017 03:27

Twitter

  • GROUND-BREAKING NEWS: Thriving populations of endangered species discovered in Myanmar. What does the future hold? https://t.co/bZgXaz0jo5Fri Mar 03 05:48:37 +0000 2017
  • @jokowi& Indonesian govt: we support intervention to protect the orangutans living free in Tripa, under threat from… https://t.co/dQzFN2rOilThu Dec 15 23:05:20 +0000 2016
  • A hornbill flies through the #LeuserEcosystem, but its forest home is under attack by a Conflict Palm Oil Culprit:… https://t.co/zy5eGiPTJzThu Dec 15 07:00:49 +0000 2016
  • Breaking: @RAN investigates deforestation and draining peatlands in the #LeuserEcosystem Act now to stop it… https://t.co/GH2yCLZltLWed Dec 14 06:42:06 +0000 2016
  • Thank you @nickbowditch So much to take home from your honest and raw advice today. Can’t wait to read your book #ChangeTheWorldThu Nov 24 07:34:21 +0000 2016
  • Learning to tell our story a little better, engaging people to invest in their future! #ChangeTheWorldThu Nov 24 05:35:04 +0000 2016
  • Don’t miss out on #BeforeTheFlood, featuring HAkA’s Farwiza and the #LeuserEcosystem. Watch it: https://t.co/0nOTkcy5lRMon Nov 07 04:50:12 +0000 2016
  • Abu Kari Aman Jarum has fought to #SaveLeuserEcosystem for over 40 years. Join the fight by signing the petition:… https://t.co/Jx3ay8rBUkSun Nov 06 19:05:15 +0000 2016
  • Actor/activist @LeoDiCaprio signed the petition to #SaveLeuserEcosystem. Please sign too!: https://t.co/KZ2TbC6N8g https://t.co/M6XWNFcgcpSat Nov 05 23:50:11 +0000 2016
  • Watch the GeRAM animation on their struggle to #SaveLeuserEcosystem: https://t.co/UEpHu8NGQaSat Nov 05 06:45:09 +0000 2016
  • RT @haka_sumatra: Thank you very much @wildlifeasia13 for the support! Sign the petition NOW! We need 2700 more to reach our target! #SaveL…Fri Nov 04 07:36:19 +0000 2016
  • I stand with @haka_sumatra in support of Aceh's citizen's lawsuit movement (GeRAM) to #SaveLeuserEcosystem, sign: https://t.co/VZhGl8u4FAFri Nov 04 06:26:58 +0000 2016
  • Release of the Gibbon https://t.co/zFGAGqhvhL via @NatGeoWed Oct 26 03:28:10 +0000 2016
  • RT @RacingXtinction: Quarter million people called for @PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil! https://t.co/eKtxIduWaq @RAN @wildlifeasia13 http…Tue Oct 04 02:00:10 +0000 2016
  • It is time to make some changes @PepsiCo https://t.co/W5cDwhsW09 @RAN @RacingXtinction #cutconflictpalmoil https://t.co/BWukuHIHJZFri Aug 26 01:31:36 +0000 2016
  • Half an hour left! This is about to be sold well below value...get in quick, bid now at https://t.co/EPTvqzKuXe https://t.co/uieba77Uw1Sun Jun 26 08:39:06 +0000 2016
  • Thank you @LeoDiCaprio You can own this amazing piece by Irene Hoff, signed by Leo. Bid now https://t.co/OvbA0tLzTQ https://t.co/ceu8moWHTVThu Jun 23 10:01:24 +0000 2016
  • Check out this amazing art by Irene Hoff and signed by @LeoDiCaprio Save wildlife in the Leuser Ecosystem. BID NOW https://t.co/4RBag9U3oYMon Jun 20 22:55:11 +0000 2016
  • Orangutan artwork signed by @LeoDiCaprio BID NOW https://t.co/r8YSJ8tHe0 #SaveLeuserEcosystem #StartWith1Thing https://t.co/LZwuFMVtDzMon Jun 20 03:44:28 +0000 2016
  • I believe in @_WilderGreen. Listen here: https://t.co/dPrsnCEtgV #EarthDay #GreenEyes #SaveLeuserEcosystemSat Apr 23 11:00:52 +0000 2016

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