WCS Cambodia

Initiatives for Primate Conservation

Throughout their range primates such as Black-Shanked Doucs and Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbons are highly threatened by habitat loss and hunting. Intensive logging, human in-migration to rural areas, and widespread hunting have reduced the evergreen forests in the Vietnamese portion of their range to small, isolated fragments. However, Cambodian forests where the species still occurs have remained largely intact due to 30 years of regional and civil conflict that only abated recently.

Peace and economic prosperity is now increasing the threat of habitat loss in Cambodia. Thousands, or sometimes tens of thousands of hectares of forest are proposed for conversion. This would involve the complete clearance of all natural forest, and the planting of cash crops. Such plantations clearly have a devastating impact on forest biodiversity, including primates.

Historically the Bunong people of Mondulkiri may have hunted primates occasionally, but such subsistence hunting is now rare. Lorises, however are reported to be widely shot and trapped. This is almost exclusively for trade. They are used in Khmer traditional medicine, or traded internationally to supply Vietnamese or Chinese medicinal markets. The large scale collection of Long-tailed Macaques started in 2006. This has been reported from all over Cambodia and mainland South-East Asia and is thought to be connected to the trade in animals for use in biomedical testing.