Rangers report loss of 100 precious trees from national park

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Rangers in the Yok Don National Park said Friday around 100 protected trees had been illegally cut down in a 10-hectare patch of land.

Loggers had chopped and taken away the trunks of 100 Xylia xylocarpa trees with stumps and branches littering the clearing, they said.

The Xylia xylocarpa forest near the Serepok River in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak is a protected area and it was not explained how the loggers could so easily penetrate and transport the wood on the river without the knowledge of park rangers.

Xylia xylocarpa is a species of perennial tree found in South and Southeast Asia and planted in certain parts of East Africa.

Xylia xylocarpa produces good timber. Its wood pulp is used for making wrapping paper and it is considered a medicinal plant in India.

The valuable trees were cut down at a time authorities in Buon Don District were conducting a campaign to fight illegal logging in the national park.

The Yok Don National Park Management Board said that ranger teams have recorded hundreds of instances of timber poaching and seized more than 500 cubic meters of felled trees during the first three months of this year.

The board maintains that these figures represent a small percentage of the actual destruction in the forest, where many varieties of precious woods face over-exploitation in the very place where they are supposed to be protected.

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