Alaungdaw Kathapa

Kaeng Krachan

Khao Yai


Muong Nhe

Taman Negara

Reserves For The Corbetts Or Indo-Chinese Subspecies

Kaeng Krachan

In 1993 Corbett's tiger was confirmed as being located in 22 protected areas found across Thailand (previously known as Siam). Of these reserves 16 were tiny, being under 500 square kilometres. A more recent study indicates that tigers may now be limited to only 16 areas. Kaeng Krachan is the largest of these, and at 2,920 square kilometres also the biggest of Thailand's National Parks.

The almost pristine tropical evergreen forest found here provides a home for at least 40 species of large mammal. Tigers, leopards, elephant, otters, gibbons, two varieties of Asiatic bear, two types of leaf monkey (langur) and wild cattle.

The Siamese crocodile has also been located at Kaeng Krachan after the setting of remote camera traps. It was previously thought this croc was extinct in Thailand, apart from one individual. Until the early 1990s, it was also considered extinct across much of the rest of its former range (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia). Very recently small numbers have been discovered and the total population across all countries is now estimated at a few hundred individuals. This makes the Siamese crocodile one of the most endangered crocodilians in the world.

Forty-one camera traps were set; of these, eight were stolen and elephants destroyed two. The remaining cameras showed  tigers, leopards, monitor lizards, panthers, elephants, and Asian wild dogs, a Buddhist monk on walkabout, several birds, and the 7-feet-long Siamese crocodile, all from a 75-square-mile area.

Despite its close proximity to Bangkok Kaeng Krachan remains little used by tourists; this could be in part due to the very high rainfall, it is some of the heaviest in Thailand. The reservoir, though, is popular for observing birds. These migrate from as far afield as China and Siberia to breed in the salt marshes. Over 400 species are found here, including 6 hornhill species. A recent and significant discovery was the finding of a rachet-tailed treepie population. Prior to this these birds were known only in Laos, northern Vietnam, and southern China.

The biggest danger to the area comes from Karen settlements. These are refugee camps which the Thai government keeps very quiet about. Most of the occupants are fleeing the fighting between Burmese and KNU forces, just across the border. There's a number of these camps around in Kaeng Krachan, but the government no longer allows visitors or publicity as it fears a sudden increase in refugee numbers. Karen settlements take their toll on wildlife through illegal farming and poaching, though recently efforts have been made to appoint Karen as custodians of the park.

Corbett Tiger Reserves - Alaungdaw Kathapa | Kaeng Krachan | Khao Yai | Lomphat | Muong Nhe | Taman Negara

Origin | Project Tiger | Releasing Captive Tigers | The Tale Of Tara | Taking A CensusPost Mortems
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Photography With Thanks To The Wildlife Conservation Society (Photo 1)
Linda Bucklin (Photo 2)
Martin Kramer (Photo 3)
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