Scientists call for prompt action to protect Yok Don National Park

VietNamNet Bridge
26 January 2015

Covering an area of 115,545 hectares, 93 percent of which is dipterocarp forest, Yok Don bears the typical characteristics of Southeast Asia’s tropical forests.

Scientists say there are 489 animal and over 100 insect species living in the park. Of Indochina’s 56 rare and precious animal species, 36 species can be found in Yok Don, including 17 species named in World Red Book.

The vegetation at Yok Don National Park is dominated by deciduous forest and semi-evergreen (mixed deciduous) forest, with smaller areas of evergreen forest, particularly on hills and along water courses. The local diversified flora provides valuable medicinal herbs and precious woods.

Yok Don National Park, put under special protection for biodiversity, is the only place in Vietnam where dipterocarp forest, one of the typical forest types in Vietnam, can be preserved.

However, this may not be true in the future anymore. The forest has been gradually disappearing because people need land to till rice fields, grow coffee and rubber and build hydropower plants.

As Yok Don has many rare and precious animal species and plants, illegal loggers and hunters, who have been trying to exploit the forest resources for money, target the area.

When asked to comment about the situation at the park, Do Trong Kim, deputy head of the Forest Protection Department, said the deforestation there was at the “red alarm rate”.

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