84 Rare Hog Deer Found In NE Cambodia, Raising Hope For Species Conservation

Eighty-four globally endangered hog deer are roaming grassland habitats, in the Prek Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary of Mekong flooded forest, in north-eastern Cambodia, according to the first camera-trap survey of the hog deer population, released yesterday.

Jointly conducted by the Ministry of Environment and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Jan, the survey result showed the presence of multiple fawns, indicating a reproduction of the rare spices is taking place in its natural habitats.

Axis porcinus, or hog deer, listed as a globally endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, was once considered extinct, until its rediscovery in 2006, in Kratie, with their presence confirmed by camera-trapping.

Neth Pheaktra, secretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, said, he is delighted and proud that the natural environment in Cambodia provides a safe haven for the survival of globally significant species, such as the hog deer, whose presence and reproduction have been confirmed in Prek Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Peace and political stability in Cambodia have created a favourable environment for the Ministry of Environment, communities, local authorities, and all development partners, to work together to manage and conserve the natural resources, and as a result, forests and wildlife are protected, while the number of some wildlife species have increased,” he said, at the launch of the survey result.

“It is critical that we continue strengthening our cooperation, for protecting and conserving the biodiversity in our protected areas, in support of building better local economies, especially through the development of ecotourism and for the benefit of ecosystems in Cambodia and the world,” he added.

Pheaktra urged all people living around the protected areas, to participate in natural resources and biodiversity conservation, stop poaching and snaring, cease selling and buying wildlife and bushmeat consumption, and take part in conserving rare wild animals, such as the hog deer, for the benefit of future generations.

Seng Teak, WWF Cambodia country director, said, the hog deer’s survival is threatened by habitat loss, poaching and snaring crisis, fueled by illegal wildlife trade.

“The current findings not only place Cambodia’s reputation on the global stage, it also highlights the global importance of the Mekong landscape, as critical habitats for both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife survival,” he said.

He added, concerted actions are urgently needed to protect the last refuge of this rare hog deer.

Prek Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary has a total area of 12,770 hectares.

Source: NAM News Network