Located on the eastern side of the Indo-China peninsula, Vietnam is mainly covered by hills and has a typical tropical forest cover of 40 percent. It houses two World Natural Heritage sites and six biosphere reserves which are home to some of the rarest and most endangered species of the world. The Ba Na Nature Reserve is one such forest region that contains 256 animal species and 544 varieties of flora along the Ba Na Mountain region.
However, a recent research team, headed by Professor Le Vu Khoi, a former member of his university’s Science and Technology Department, found that the entire District of Hoa Vang in Da Nang Province was under threat as the rich forest resources were being exploited for domestic medicinal requirements. The bones, meats and oil extracts of various animals like the tiger, pangolin, giant monitor lizard and the langur populations are highly priced by wild-life traders and they continue to exploit these species in the region. As a result of this, several of the endangered animals like the rare red-shanked douc langurs, unique to Son Tra Island Nature Reserve, were found to be dwindling, with only 171 langurs now being spotted.
The research also listed 27 rare species recorded in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, and the team has therefore recommended to the government to strengthen existing laws on restricting trade in endangered animals. Several of the rare species such as the Indochinese tiger, leopard, Asiatic wild dog and the Sambar deer, once spotted in great numbers in these reserves, are now not found.
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