Following the recent high profile mortality incident in Nepal, and earlier ones mainly in Assam India, the poison response training held in Cambodia last year was a very significant step for SAVE. From the annual SAVE meeting and updated Blueprint activities, it was already clear that there is a need for greater attention on addressing the threat of poison baits. We are very pleased to post this important Report, led by Naiky Ny on behalf of the Cambodia Vulture Working Group. It is clear from the report that the training has already increased local capacity to respond in the key areas for vultures in the country. It has also already improved awareness, and the documentation of subsequent poisoning incidents since the training was held – but probably most significantly of all, it has built and further developed a recognised network of first responders, working together to address this poison-baits threat. These lessons have important implications for adaptation throughout the SAVE range countries.
In the context of the Cambodia Vulture Working Group (CVWG), the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and its key resource person, Andre Botha, led the training workshops in Cambodia, complimenting an ACCB and WCS-led ‘Wildlife Health Surveillance Network’ initiative to elaborate poison response protocols. Two summary documents (still subject to final review) are kindly being made available here to SAVE – Poisoning Protocol Live Animals and Decontamination Protocol which elaborates clear procedures to be taken at a poisoning scene. These provide crucial and accessible information to have ready at the scene of a poisoning event, helping save vultures that are still alive, collecting information to determine the source of the poisoning, and above all maintaining human safety in the process.
Our thanks to the CVWG and all its member partners, and to EWT https://www.ewt.org.za/ for allowing us to make these summaries available despite the fact that they are not more formally published. These materials are provided for reference, but practical sessions and training will be very valuable to provide adequate context for implementation.