Dr Paul Yoxon of IOSF said ‚ÄúThe campaign is called ‚ÄòFurget-me-not‚Äô as the otter is the forgotten animal of the fur trade. Everyone always thinks about tigers and leopards or elephant ivory, but the trade in otter furs is huge. Recently there was a massive haul of 778 otter skins in Tibet and we are regularly getting reports of more and more skins found. Two days ago we had an email from Cambodia which said that a research team at the Tonle Sap Lake had just found 10 skins of smooth-coated otters and 6 skins of hairy-nosed otters at four different village houses. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as this is just one small area and just one find.‚Äù Please help this project
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The new Furget-me-not campaign will raise funds to start immediate work in Cambodia using a team of researchers already working there. They will train local rangers and government staff to ensure the legal protection of otters is enforced and encourage the local communities to take part in the otter conservation programme. Dr Yoxon said ‚ÄúIOSF is launching this campaign to combat the otter fur trade as a matter of urgency because without doubt this illegal trade is threatening the otters‚Äô future existence. Most otters are captured by fishermen who are very poor and simply seek to earn additional money. By engaging these fishermen into the research and conservation of the otters instead of shunning them as hunters and problematic villagers, we can give these people an otter-friendly alternative to their destructive activities and provide real protection for the otters.‚Äù Go to http://www.otter.org/cambodiapressrelease.htm for more details. the Cambodian workshop takes place this February.
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