Leopards Most Likely Extinct in the Region, including Cambodia

AKP Phnom Penh, January 17, 2020​​ —

Leopards ​are most likely extinct in the region, including Cambodia, according to a new report, underlining that the sign of extinction does not exist only in the region, but globally.

WWF “Land of Cats” Report said Leopards still exist in Cambodia, but not much.

A remarkable one fifth of the world’s 36 cat species are found in a single landscape straddling Thailand and Myanmar, but they are under increasing threat of extinction.

The tigers, leopards, clouded leopards, Asiatic golden cats, marbled cats, jungle cats and leopard cats roam the forests of this vast landscape. It also includes the elusive fishing cat, which may also live there.

The seven, possibly eight cat species are holding on despite intense pressure from poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss due to land clearing for agriculture, unsustainable infrastructure and retaliation for killing livestock.

Until now, no report about tigers in Cambodia, even from camera trap in the forest, but early this month, a group of forest rangers in Oddar Meanchey province has overheard tiger’s roars – a rare incident indicating the existence of the endangered animal.

The update was shared in a news release from the Ministry of Environment, adding that the roaring sound was heard in Banteay Chmar protection area of the province where the rangers were camping.

The rangers heard the sound at around 7:30 o’clock in the evening on Jan. 6, and presumably the tiger was about 20 to 30 metres away from the team.

The last record of tiger in Cambodia was made in November 2007 at Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri province.

The extinction of tiger from Cambodia was largely due to civil war, and poaching.

By Khan Sophirom