LONG AN – A market located at the junction of highways 62 and N2 in Thạnh Hóa Towship of the southern province of Long An has long been known as a market for wild birds.
The Thạnh Hóa Market used to sell agricultural and forest products, but has become the biggest bird market in the southwestern region, with 22 stalls selling from dozens to hundreds of birds caught in the wild.
The birds are sold at prices ranging from hundreds to millions of đồng per kilo.
The provincial authority has urged the township to shut down the market and called on people not to buy the wild birds to avoid risks of disease. But all the efforts have failed so far.
Most of the birds sold in the market are popular and not rare species forbidden for trade, Lê Hữu Lợi, deputy head of the provincial forest rangers’ department told the Pháp Luật Thành Phố Hò Chí Minh (HCM City Law) Newspaper.
“We have often asked to list some storks and birds in the red book register of endangered species to protect them well. But so far, we have not got any response,” Lợi said.
This year rangers have caught and fined eight people selling wild protected birds, he said.
“Selling birds in the market has threatened not only the quantity of wild birds, but also the bio-diversification of the Láng Sen Wetlands Reserve,” Dr Dương Văn Ni, a wetland expert from Cần Thơ University, told the Lao Động (Labour) Newspaper.
The Láng Sen Wetlands Reserve in the Mekong Delta province of Long An has been recognized as Việt Nam’s 7th and the world’s 2,227th site of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.With a total area of 5,030ha, the Láng Sen Wetland Reserve has a diverse ecosystem thanks to the geomorphological conditions in the area.
The swamps, mangrove forests, rice fields, seasonally waterlogged grasslands in Láng Sen together are an ideal habitat for 156 species of flora and 149 species of fauna, mainly birds and fish, including many endangered species. – VNS
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