Snares are indiscriminate tools of torture used around the world to capture wild animals—primarily for food but also for trade in animal parts. Made from inexpensive materials such as rope, wire, plastic, and automotive clutch and brake cables, tens of millions of snares are set every year around the world. A 2020 report compared the impact of snares on terrestrial wildlife to the devastating effects of driftnets on marine and freshwater biodiversity. Snared animals may languish for days or weeks before dying, often from exposure, starvation, or dehydration.
In India, the illegal use of snares to catch wildlife is commonplace, including in protected areas. To combat this, AWI is collaborating with the Wildlife Trust of India by funding anti-snare walks in the central Indian state of Maharashtra, including in the Nawegaon-Nagzira tiger reserve. Thousands of snares have been collected during these walks, in which skilled staff work with forest and enforcement agency officials. Using a recently developed mobile app, participants enter data on the number, type, and location of the snares, species caught, injuries, and deaths to fully assess the impact of snares on India’s wildlife.