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An Update From the Field
Update posted by Dr Kae Kawanishi On Dec 24

While the online campaigning is going on, our Community Rangers continue to patrol and recently found and disarmed 3 active wire snares and 1 artificial salt lick bait in one of our poaching hotspots.

This hotspot is an area adjacent to an unused logging road leading to the edge of the national park. A decade ago, MYCAT research team was finding a dozen of snares every month, but now thanks to CAT Walk, the poaching incidence has significantly reduced, and threatened wildlife are recovering. Due to the easy access, proximity to villages and a slim chance of being caught, the heinous act of poaching does not cease. We lost a clouded leopard to a poacher there 2 years ago and the vivid memory of remains of the beautiful animal found hanging from a snare haunt us to date. Attempts to close the logging road have foiled. Locks on the gates were vandalized multiple times, a ditch before the entrance was circumvented by trespassers, and our camera traps to monitor the human movement were stolen. Booby traps made of nails and a plank buried on the road (MYCAT vehicle is authorized to enter) by poachers flatten the Hilux’s tires and nearly hurt an aborigine barefooted.

Some people living nearby have been arrested and prosecuted for possession of snares and wild meat, but this culture of poaching is a way-of-life that will take a long time to change. Critically endangered wildlife can’t wait for cultural change, so we must continue our work of safeguarding the tigers and their forests. Every snare disarmed can be one tiger saved. We will not give up.

MYCAT is a small office of 6 staff members. We can’t do this important work without the help of CAT Walk volunteers and now Community Rangers who are paid to patrol the area.

Thank you to those who have contributed in your very own way. Every single action taken by you is much appreciated and we hope to continue this momentum!

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