As Cambodia’s wildlife face mounting pressure from hunters, loggers and settlers, a new book, The Mammals of Cambodia, has been released to educate people on the country’s wildlife and the need to protect it.
Cambodia’s Forestry Director Ty Sokhun said the book, featuring Cambodia’s 88 mammal species, is crucial for teaching people “to love and conserve the wildlife.”
“If they know the mammal species, they will conserve them,” Ty Sokhun said.
The book, written in Khmer, is a joint project of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the ministries of Environment and Agriculture. It was written by eight authors from the two ministries and funded by the British Embassy and the World Bank. The color photographs and illustrations were donated by several artists and organizations. The book will be distributed free-of-charge to ministries, schools, NGOs and the provinces.
The species range from elephants and tigers to flying foxes and shrews. A color picture or drawing of each animal is accompanied by descriptions of its anatomy, characteristics and habitat. The book also lists threats facing each mammal.
Of the 88 species in the book, 29 are considered globally threatened. Fifty three of the species are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Trade in 23 of the species is banned completely.
“Hunting, particularly for international trade, is having a devastating effect on the country’s endangered wildlife populations,” a British embassy satement said. “Animals such as tigers are being particularly targeted, as they are in great demand from overseas Chinese buyers for their alleged medicinal properties.”
Colin Poole, country program coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said Cambodia must act now to protect its wildlife. “If there is no conservation, mammals will face extinction,” he said.