Over the past two decades, the population of elephants in Myanmar has declined because of poaching, habitat loss caused by human encroachment.
The Asian elephant could become extinct in half of the areas where it now ranges in the region if the problem escalates.
Rising demand for products made from elephant skin is driving poaching and posing an even greater threat to Asia’s wild herds than the ivory trade, according to a report by a British-based conservation group.The Asian elephant could become extinct in half of the areas where it now ranges in the region if the problem escalates.
At a time when Myanmar’s elephants are facing the greatest threat, a volunteer from Ayeyawady Region was selected for the State Counsellor’s monthly award of gratitude for his relentless efforts for saving wild elephants in Ayeyawady Region.
U Kyaw Myint, the Head of Administration of the Village of Tin Chaung in Ayeyawady Region, has been working, since he was assigned as the head, together with departments concerned and organzations to protect and conserve the wild elephants from being killed.
His efforts led to exposing and apprehending two poachers in 2016 with arms used to poach wild elephants and to confiscating four flintlock guns and accessories used to kill elephants in 2017.
He was also honored by head of Ayeyawady Police Force. He was jointly accorded by WWF and FOW the “Hero of elephant conservation” award.
There are a total of about 150 elephants living in the six forest reserves in Ngaputaw Township, Ayeyawady Region. Due to the illegal trade of elephant trunks, and tusks, starting from about 2011, wild elephants were being killed by poachers. The number of wild elephants killed increases in 2013 and now, not only the trunks and tusks but the skins of the elephants were being traded illegally. To prevent the wild elephants from being killed by poachers, protection and conservation works were jointly conducted by Myanmar Police Force, Forest Department, Wildlife Conservation Society Myanmar (WCS-Myanmar), Friends of Wildlife (FOW) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The award not only recognizes U Kyaw Myint for his contributions to fighting against elephant poaching but also brings the country’s attention to the cause of animal conservation and the brave, talented and dedicated conservationists who spend their lives saving the country’s endangered animal species.
Our elephants are in crisis. These intelligent, caring animals can’t save themselves from poachers’ guns and poisons, but we can save them before it is not too late. And, there is no better time than right now.