The Lam Dong province forestry sector is conducting a project on conservation and development of a precious and rare pine species, which is under threat of extinction.

The Saigon Giai phong newspaper citied Tran Thanh Binh, Director of the Lam Dong Province Rangers Department, as saying that nearly 20 red pines, known as Taxus Wallichiana Zucc, have been cut down illegally since 2008, making the number of trees in the central highlands province to less than 100.

In 2004, two communities of about 300 trees were grown in Xuan Truong commune, Da Lat city.

A test programme to multiply the tree was conducted in the province. After two years of study, scientists from Ho Chi Minh City University of Industries and the Lam Dong Silviculture Research Centre finally saw their red pine buds growing into trees in test-tubes. Some of these trees have been planted in the natural environment.

Taxus Wallichiana Zucc, which can be found in few areas in Asia, contains extract Taxol, a precious material used in cancer drug./.