May 25, 2018
Wire Snares: The Bane in Malaysian Forests, Part 2
- as seen by -Melvin Gumal
Are wire snares really littered throughout Malaysian forests?
Sadly, yes, they are. Several hundred wire snares are found and destroyed each year along routes patrolled by both the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Malaysia and volunteers from civil societies. And these patrols are covering only a modest fraction of Malaysia’s forests.
A campaign to raise awareness and educate the public on the killing nature of wire snares has had the support of most of the civil societies throughout the country. These societies have been asked help with tasks at which they are most proficient. These tasks include developing an app that the public can use to report on snares via their Android-based phone, raising public awareness on the issue, creating social media-friendly logos and taglines, and working with corporations to solicit volunteers from their large employment base. Conservation techniques new to Malaysia such as use of sniffer dogs are being explored to improve the detection of wire snares.
It takes a village to raise a child — a proverb most often highlighted in the mid-1990s. In this instance, the child is the campaign to fight wire snares and all those in the village would be the civil societies working together. Will a simple case of nurture and education work? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Since the early 2010s, there has been an increased militancy in conservation as poacher numbers and their brutality have increased. There is a need to work with other tools in the conservation box. Among the initiatives identified are the safety of anti-poaching teams in the field, better surveillance of poachers, documentation of evidence so that the culprits can be taken to court, successful prosecutions, and finally, media work to highlight the prosecutions.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Read Part 1 here.