A Romanian forest ranger has been found shot dead while investigating illegal logging. Liviu Pop, 30, a married father of three, had gone to investigate an alleged incident of illegal logging in Maramures County in the north of the country, on Wednesday 16 October 2019, and was later found dead, having apparently been shot dead with a hunting riffle. According to the state-owned forest management company Romsilva, this is the sixteenth attack on a forest ranger in the country this year, and the second fatality, following the death of Raducu Gorcioaia, 50, in September. Four other forest rangers have been killed in the last decade. Non-governmental environmental organisations in Romania have also reported several attacks on staff, some of which have resulted in serious injuries.
Forest ranger Liviu Pop, 30, a married father of three, murdered in Romania last week. Liviu Pop/Facebook/BBC.
Romania has 62 490 000 square kilometres of forest cover, representing 26.3% of the country's land area, and including the largest area of pristine ancient forest within the European Union. These forests provide a vital environment to some of Europe's few remaining large Mammal species, including Brown Bears, Ursus arctos, Grey Wolves, Canis lupis, Lynx, Lynx lynx, and European Wildcat, Felis silvestris. Unfortunately this forest is under considerable threat from both legal and illegal logging activities, with environmental groups estimating that the country loses over fifty square kilometres of forest per week, with much of the wood going to make chipboard or similar low-value products.
Ancient forest in Romania. Agent Green.
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