The staff of U Minh Thuong National Park in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang will enhance coordination with environment agencies to protect its forests.

According to Nguyen Van Cuong, the park’s Deputy Director, despite regular patrol efforts, wildlife poaching is still occurring in the park, posing dangers to the population of rare animals and causing risks of fire, especially during the dry season.

Five cases of wildlife hunting were detected in the first two months of this year, he said, adding that a total of 67 cases were detected last year, with 96 people arrested.

Tran Hong Dao, head of forest rangers in U Minh Thuong and Vinh Thuan districts, which house the park, said that residents living in the park’s buffer zone often catch fish, eels, snakes and other animals and stay in the forest for several days.

Covering an area of more than 21,000 hectares, the park is home to 243 species of plant, 32 species of mammal, 186 species of bird, 50 species of reptile, 60 species of fish, and 203 species of insect.

The park, which was a base of the revolutionary army during wartime, last year became the first on peat land to be recognised as an ASEAN Heritage Park.-VNA