A snaring crisis is decimating wildlife in Southeast Asia and increasing the risk of zoonotic disease transmission to humans, warns a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which has important lessons for Nepal where poaching has increased during the past three months of lockdown.
An estimated 12.3 million snares threaten wildlife in the protected areas of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam where snaring animals in the jungles is most common, according to the report Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’s Snaring Crisis.
“‘Indiscriminately killing and maiming, snares are wiping out the region’s wildlife, from tigers and elephants to pangolins and palm civets, and emptying its forests. These species don’t stand a chance unless governments urgently tackle the snaring crisis,” said Stuart Chapman, Lead of the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative.
The traps, often made from wire or cable, increase close contact between humans and wildlife and the likelihood of zoonotic disease spillover. Many animals caught in the traps like wild pig, palm civets, and pangolins, have the highest risk for zoonotic disease transmission.