Illegal Loggers in Far East Cost Russia $17 Mln

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – Illegal logging in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory has cost the state over 500 million rubles (about $17 million) in damage since 2010, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia said on Thursday.

Over 12,000 cubic meters of trees have been illegally logged in the region, the organization said, despite more than 600 joint raids by forest rangers, police, and environmentalists conducted since 2010.

Apart from direct commercial damage, illegal logging destroys the habitat of endangered species like the Amur tiger and affects high-value trees, including the protected Korean cedar, WWF Russia said.

“This is a very disturbing signal,” WWF Russia Amur branch project coordinator Anatoly Kabanets said.


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