New Thailand UNESCO World Heritage Site Announced

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently announced that the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex has been added to the World Heritage List.

Main picture entrance to Kaeng Krachan National Park credit Ian Gratton on flickr

It comprises of 4 protected areas: Mae Nam Phachi Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaeng Krachan National Park, Kui Buri National Park, and Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Park, which collectively, is known as the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC).

The Forest Complex is located within the Kaeng Krachan National Park and covers 464,000 hectares in three provinces, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, and Ratchaburi.

The area is rugged with high mountains in the west and rolling hills to the east.

The area has a rich biodiversity, dominated by semi-evergreen/dry evergreen and moist evergreen forest with some mixed deciduous forest, montane forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest. A number of endemic and globally endangered plant species have been reported in the property, which overlaps with two Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and is noted for its rich diversity of birdlife, including eight globally threatened species.

The forest is home to the critically endangered Siamese Crocodile, the endangered Asiatic Wild Dog, Banteng, Asian Elephant, Yellow/Elongated Tortoise and the endangered Asian Giant Tortoise as well as several other vulnerable species of birds and mammals.

Dusky Langur credit tontantravel on flickr
Asian Elephant credit Rushen on flickr

It is also home to eight cat species: the endangered tiger and Fishing Cat, near-threatened Leopard and Asian Golden Cat, the vulnerable Clouded Leopard and Marbled Cat, as well as Jungle Cat and Leopard Cat. 

The national park is home to 100 mammal species, 545 bird species, 112 reptile species, 55 amphibian species and 101 fish species.

The announcement is the culmination of six years of work to get the UNESCO status, making it the sixth World Heritage Site in Thailand.

Sun Bear credit Rushen on flickr
Black Naped Monarch credit Rushen on flickr

The status has been deferred on three previous occasions due to human rights concerns for the local Karen community. Although UNESCO were convinced that progress had been made to ensure their human rights, members of a Karen community protested against alleged ongoing human rights violations.

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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