Last update: 10:56 | 12/04/2018
VietNamNet Bridge – An illegal logging site has been found in an area of forest near the Song Thanh Nature Reserve, in what was the third recorded case of logging violations in March in Quang Nam Province.
A chopped down tree in Quang Nam Province. Illegal logging was discovered in the special-use forest of Song Thanh in late March. — VNS Photo Tran Thuong
Head of the Song Thanh Forest Protection Unit, Dinh Van Hong said that the case occurred in late March. A combined investigation team of forest protection units, border guard forces and the Song Thanh Nature Reserve Management Board identified that the special-use forest was being destroyed at three plots near Pa Xua Village of Ta Bhing Commune, in the mountainous district of Nam Giang.
He said the team continued the investigation to evaluate the damage of the logging.
Hong said that 42 violations and logging cases had been found in the area since the beginning of January and that a total 20 cubic metres of logs and more than 400kg of forest products such as wild animal meat and endangered herbs had been seized.
He said that the investigation agency had been tracking a hunter that reportedly killed a gray-shanked douc langur (pygathrix cinerea) – a species of monkey that is currently listed as critically endangered, with unlimited protection status in the world by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In 2017, local rangers found 100 cubic metres of sawn log in the special-use forest over a period of six patrols. They also dismantled five illegal logging camps.
The Song Thanh Forest Protection Unit has only 15 rangers to patrol and protect 75,000ha of the special-use forest.
The area is surrounded by 90km of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and 70km of National Highway 14B. A 100km section of the Song Thanh River also runs through the forest.
Last month, two cases of illegal logging were discovered in the province’s Dong Giang and Nam Giang districts in March, with 77 big trees chopped down (about 300 cubic metres of log).
Last September, an area of 110ha of protected forest was illegally cut down in Tien Phuoc District’s Tien Lanh Commune.
The Song Thanh Nature Reserve, which covers a total of 201,647ha in Nam Giang and Phuoc Son districts, is home to 831 species of flora and fauna, including 38 species listed in the Red Book of Viet Nam.
The reserve, which shares a border with Laos, has been known to house tigers, elephants, leopards, and grey-shanked and red-shanked douc langur monkeys - both primates are listed as critically endangered by the IUNC.