Warning: Contains images some might find distressing
It’s no secret that a lot of the world’s wildlife is struggling. Among the many threats of deforestation, loss of habitat, climate change, and overhunting, a growing peril is the increasing use of cheap snares used to trap animals in parts of Asia.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has released a series of images to accompany a new report that has been published in this week’s Science Magazine looking at the issues surrounding the “wildlife-snaring crisis” in Asian forests, co-authored by WCS scientist Tony Lynam.
The use of snares is particularly damaging since they’re totally indiscriminate of their target, whether they are young, rare, or a pregnant female. As you can see in the photographs below, creatures great and small can fall victim. As such, the snares are proving to be a useful weapon for commercial hunters.
Conservationists are currently in a losing battle against the poachers and hunters using the traps. They are easy to use and cheap, compared to the patrols used to find them, which are proving to be expensive and ineffective. The report argues that the only solution is stricter laws against those found using or possessing the deadly trap, along with harsher punishments.
"Without such reforms and their enforcement the specter of 'empty forests' will become even more likely," the report damningly concludes. To hammer home their point they have released these highly distressing images in the hope of galvanizing opposing forces.
A dead elephant with a snare around its front-left ankle. WCS Cambodia