|A combined forces of police and ranger department discover another illegal logging in the Son Tra Nature Reserve in Da Nang on Monday. It's the third site in the area that has been found destroying by illegal loggers. — VNS Photos Cong Thanh
DA NANG (VNS) — Local administration discovered illegal logging in another area of the protected Nature Reserve on Son Tra peninsula Monday. Two other locations were found destroyed in the same area last week.
The new location, covering 50ha of northwest Son Tra peninsula near the Intercontinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort, was cleared of bushes and trees. New fruit trees were found growing in the area.
According to the latest report from the city's department of Agriculture and Rural development, over 11ha forest in the Nature Reserve have been destroyed by illegal loggers for commercial purposes.
The three sites – Suoi Om, Tien Sa and Ho Sau – cover over 300ha, including the buffer zone of the Nature Reserve, an area which needs special protection.
Huynh Duc Tho, the central city's People's Committee, is asking relevant agencies to investigate the most serious violations and report their findings to the city's People's Council before March 10th.
In response to the illegal logging of the forest, the city's Agriculture and Rural Development department has suspended the head and deputy head of Son Tra-Ngu Hanh Son Forest Protection sub-department, Tran Van Thanh and Le Phuoc Bay, as well as suspending three rangers, pending further investigation.
Bui Van Tuan, a biologist from the Centre for Conservation for Biodiversity - also known as GreenViet - said conservationists have yet to protect five groups of Red-Shanked Doucs (Pygathryx nemaeus) in the area.
Tuan said five groups of these langurs moved from the area of destroyed forest. The langurs were seen in trees 100m away from the main road in a wildlife survey on Monday.
He said the existence of many restaurants in the area will continue to trigger illegal hunting in the Nature Reserve, as a living wild animal can be sold for around VND6 million (US$267).
The flora system of the buffer zone of Son Tra Nature Reserve is the main food source for Red-Shanked Doucs (Pygathryx nemaeus), an animal listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Son Tra Nature Reserve is home to 300 Red-Shanked Doucs.
Two illegal hunting cases were documented in the Nature Reserve last year. And 2,000 traps were dismantled by rangers and volunteers.
Last month, a monkey (Indochinese rhesus macaque) was killed by a motorcyclist on Son Tra mountain. — VNS