Local July 7, 2017 | 4:37 pm

Some 500 mostly Haitian tree-choppers nabbed in Los Haitises

Los Haitises charcoal makers

Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic.- Around 500 men, mostly Haitian nationals, have been escorted out of Los Haitises National Park (northeast), charged with cutting down trees to make charcoal and illegally planting crops.

Sabana de la Mar Scientific Reserve director Luis Carlos López said human settlements will be definitively removed from  Los Haitises. “One of Environment minister Francisco Dominguez’s main goals is to put an end to human presence in this important protected area.”

Quoted by Diario Libre, the official said a solution will be found with control and surveillance operations with patrols to eliminate activities that pose a risk to the major water source. “As a result a large number of Haitian nationals are apprehended every week and handed over to Immigration.”

He said national park he will be free of activities that degrade Los Haitises’ rich biodiversity.

“Los Haitises has a registered resident population of more than 25 dolphins and about eight mating pairs of manatees so far.”

He said the human presence threatens the reproduction of marine animals, since many fishermen unlawfully trap dolphins and manatees.

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