The Ecological Citizen Vol 4 No 2 2021: 129–41
Snaring is one of the simplest but most destructive hunting techniques. Snares, cheap to produce and easy to set in large numbers, are the predominant form of hunting across large areas of South-East Asia. Snares are indiscriminate, wasteful, and cruel. For terrestrial species in South-East Asia, the increasing use of snares – principally to feed urban demand for wildlife meat – is among the most significant causes of population declines. Across eleven protected areas in the region, the authors document ranger patrols removing a total of 371,056 snares between 2005 and 2019. However, owing to the low detectability of snares and the large size of many of the region's protected areas, which are invariably understaffed, the number of snares removed is likely only a small fraction of total snares present. To effectively address the drivers of snaring, governments and civil society organizations need to urgently improve the effectiveness of anti-poaching patrols generally, and specifically strengthen legislation to allow law enforcement officers and rangers to deter snaring within protected areas. Robust and evidence-based behaviour change programs to reduce commercial demand for wildlife meat should simultaneously be developed.