Historically, the Eastern Plains Landscape (EPL) contained vast aggregations of large ungulate species that supported a variety of large carnivores. Decades of armed civil conflict paired with illegal hunting led to significant reductions of most large mammal populations across their range (Loucks et al., 2009) and resulted in the likely extinction of species such as the Kouprey (Bos sauveli
) and local extirpation of the tiger (Panthera tigris
). More recently, an unprecedented poaching and snaring crisis is sweeping through Indochina. In the EPL of Cambodia, a rapid acceleration and intensification of poaching has been observed over the past decade.
This trend of increased poaching is primarily fuelled by the illegal trade in wildlife and growing demand for wild meat and other wildlife parts and products from within Cambodia and from across the border in Viet Nam. The detrimental effect of poaching on ungulates is further exacerbated by the impacts of illegal forest encroachment, and forest conversion and degradation, driven primarily by the illegal timber trade, rapid socio-economic growth, and increased access to these once remote forests due to road development.
Population Status of Ungulates in the Eastern Plains Landscape, Srepok and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuaries: The 2010-11 baseline survey revealed that the EPL contained the largest global population of the endangered Banteng in its native range: with an estimate of 1,911 individuals (95% CI: 870-2952) in SWS and 1,102 individuals (602-2,018) in PPWS. In 2020, this globally significant population has dramatically declined by about 72% compared to the 2010-11 population.
Findings from a Decade of Ungulate Monitoring in the Eastern Plains Landscape
Report December 2020 –Population Status of Ungulates in the Eastern Plains Landscape, Srepok and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuaries
Press release on the situation of Banteng and other ungulate species