News Brief (E350, 22 Jan, 2010)
Nghe An: New-born elephants at Pu Mat National Park
Recently, two elephants joined the Park after their birth in a forest in Cao Veu Village. It is reported that 17 elephants are currently living in Pu Mat National Park.
Ho Chi Minh City: Two customs officers prosecuted for timber smuggling
The People's Supreme Procuracy has just prosecuted eight violators involved in timber smuggling at Cat Lai Port. The eight offenders, two of whom used to be customs officers, were prosecuted for violating regulations on forest exploitation and protection. On June 19, 2007, the Anti-smuggling Investigation Bureau and Ho Chi Minh Customs Bureau discovered 171m3 of rare timber in the export containers from one company in Ho Chi Minh City.
Three privately-owned cars found transporting rare timber
Between January 10 and 12, the police team in Anh Son District found two cars transporting a total of 20m3 of rare timber on Highway 7A. The following day, the Quang Binh Police team also discovered 20 boxes of rare timber in a car after it had been stopped for checks. The man driving the car disguised himself as a member of the army in order to mislead authorities.
Quang Binh: Forests destroyed for rare timber
Many forest areas have been destroyed for the rare plant species, Fibraurea recisa, which can fetch high prices. Being listed in Vietnam’s Red Data Book, Fibraurea recis, a large woody vine,has many medical benefits. In 2009, according to the Quang Binh Provincial FPD’s statistics, rangers located 60,458 kg of this plant in the region. Phong Nha – Ke Bang District FPD recently discovered a car transporting 7.5kg of Fibraurea recisa root.
Cat Tien National Park: Maybe only five Javan rhinoceros left
Only about five Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) are said to exist in Cat Tien National Park at present. The decrease in the number of the rhinoceros is due to the over-use of it in traditional medicine and people’s penetration into its living environment. (Vietnamese version)
Binh Duong: 19 bears rescued
Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) is currently involved in the rescue of 19 bears living at a bear farm in Tan Uyen District. Due to farm’s inability to follow bear management regulations, the farm owner voluntarily transferred these animals to the Binh Duong Provincial FPD. On January 18, the rescue team left Binh Duong with the bears and will arrive at the Bear Rescue Center in Tam Dao National Park in three days.
Quang Binh: Macaque glue-making hot spots revealed
According to an article on Tien Phong’s website, there are two macaque glue-making places based in Quang Trach District. The owners of these locations buy macaques mainly from Phong Nha - Ke Bang for glue making.
Lessons for companies destroying the environment
The Vedan Company (Dong Nai) is liable to compensate for its poor behavior by polluting Thi Vai river and negatively impacting on the lives of many residents in the area. According to the Environmental Bureau, the Vedan Company has paid over VND127 billion to date in environmental fees and VND267.5 billion in administrative violations. Two other companies, the Viet Nam Float Glass Company (Bac Ninh) and Da Lat – Japan Company (Lam Dong), have also been fined for their violations against the environment. The Can Tho Industrial Zone Management Board has suspended four companies for not following regulations that protect the environment.
Two otters rescued from an advertisement on the website
On January 15, ENV staff from the Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) received information about two oriental small-clawed otters (Ambloynyx cinerea) for sale on the website www.5giay.vn. After checking and confirming the information provided via the hotline, ENV staff informed the Environmental Police (EP) team in Ho Chi Minh City and co-operated with them to work on the case. Four days later, the EP team and ENV staff confiscated the two otters from a household in Go Vap District. Recently, these otters have been transferred to Cu Chi Rescue Center.
14 turtles transferred to Cu Chi Rescue Center
On January 14, ENV staff received a call from a resident asking for information about 14 yellow-headed temple turtles (Hieremys annandalii) that he had received as a gift from family friends. After being encouraged and persuaded by ENV staff, the student from Ho Chi Minh City handed over the turtles voluntarily to the Cu Chi Rescue Center on the same day.
Vietnamese pond turtle found in coffee shop
A foreign resident called the ENV hotline to report a possible illegal wildlife-keeping issue. ENV staff then reported this information to Da Nang Provincial FPD after finding out more information about the case. On January 20, the FPD confiscated one Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis) from a coffee shop in Hai Chau District of Da Nang City with the assistance of ENV staff. One day after, this turtle was released into the nature.
Turtle released into the nature
On January 21, Da Nang Provincial FPD co-ordinated with the Aquiculture Bureau to release 25 turtles including three Vietnamese pond turtles (Mauremys annamensis), one Asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis), one Asian leaf turtle (Cyclemys tcheponensis) and 20 Chinese stripe-necked leaf turtles (Ocadia sinensis) into the nature. One olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) was also released into the sea at Son Tra District in Da Nang City. After receiving the information from a resident who had called the ENV hotline, ENV worked closely with the Da Nang Provincial FPD and Aquiculture Bureau to locate the turtle being illegally kept at a household in Da Nang City.
Seminars with volunteers in Hanoi
From January 19-23, the ENV Mobile Wildlife Awareness Team held five seminars with different groups of students, each with about 20 participants. The seminars are aimed at encouraging students to join ENV’s volunteer network to protect Vietnam’s wildlife. This event was organized with interesting and thought-provoking activities. During the seminar, students were provided with basic knowledge about wildlife and wildlife trafficking across the country. ENV staff also gave participants essential training on survey techniques before guiding them in practical situations. Throughout the seminars, the students had the chance to monitor and write reports on real cases of wildlife crime.
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Please note: Past bulletins can be found on ENV's website www.envietnam.org
Tran Phuong Minh
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh, Dong Da District
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)