Kaeng Krachan National Park

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Kaeng Krachan National Park
อุทยานแห่งชาติแก่งกระจาน
IUCN category II (national park)
Kaeng Krachan.jpg
Map showing the location of Kaeng Krachan National Park อุทยานแห่งชาติแก่งกระจาน
Map showing the location of Kaeng Krachan National Park อุทยานแห่งชาติแก่งกระจาน
Map of Thailand
LocationPhetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan Provinces, Thailand
Nearest cityPhetchaburi
Coordinates12°45′0″N 99°36′0″E / 12.75000°N 99.60000°E / 12.75000; 99.60000Coordinates: 12°45′0″N 99°36′0″E / 12.75000°N 99.60000°E / 12.75000; 99.60000
Area2,914.7 km2 (1.8 million rai)
Established12 Jun 1981

Kaeng Krachan National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติแก่งกระจาน) is the largest national park of Thailand.[1][2] It is on the border with Burma, contiguous with the Tanintharyi Nature Reserve. It is a popular park owing to its proximity to the tourist town of Hua Hin.

Geography[edit]

Kaeng Krachan Reservoir

The park covers parts of the districts Nong Ya Plong, Kaeng Krachan, and Tha Yang of Phetchaburi Province, and of Hua Hin of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. It consists mainly of rain forest on the eastern slope of the Tenasserim Mountain Range. The highest elevation in the park is 1,513 meters, in a "joint area of Thailand and Myanmar". The second highest mountain peak is Kao Panern Toong with an elevation of 1,207 m.[2] Two main rivers originate within the park area, the Pranburi River and the Phetchaburi River. The Phetchaburi is impounded by the Kaeng Krachan Dam at the eastern border of the park. The dam creates a lake covering an area of 46.5 km2. The dam was built in 1966.

History[edit]

The park was declared a reserve in 1964 and on 12 June 1981 it became the 28th national park of Thailand. Originally covering an area of 2,478 km2 (1.5 million rai; 240,000 ha), it was enlarged in December 1984 to include the boundary area between Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan Provinces, an additional 300,000 rai.[1]

The park has been included in the list of ASEAN Heritage Parks. Since 2011, Thailand has proposed that Unesco designate Kaeng Krachan Natural Park a world heritage site. Myanmar claims that about one-third of the land included in Thailand's claim—almost 1,000 km2—is part of Myanmar's Tanintharyi Region and has opposed Thailand's effort.[3]

The killing of wild elephants is a big problem at the park,[4] with authorities unable to control poachers.[5] Some park officials are allegedly involved in the trade of elephant parts.[6]

Despite national park status, there are private plantations within the confines of Kaeng Krachan National Park. Some of these are surrounded by electric fences which, in June 2013, fatally electrocuted an elephant calf.[7]

In 2018, the park started taking bids on a project to pave 18.5 kilometres of the Bang Krang to Phanoen Thung Road. It is budgeted at 87.62 million baht. The existing one-lane dirt road is "broken beyond repair" according to the park's chief. Environmentalists oppose the project on the grounds that easier accessibility will mean more tourists in the fragile ecosystem.[8] The park chief says, "...the project does not violate regulations...and [we have] a duty...to proceed with the project."[9] The project was halted, at least temporarily, in early-November 2018 by the National Parks Department to allow opponents to be heard on the issue.[10][11]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The forests contain a great biodiversity of tropical vegetation, including tropical and subtropical broad leaf tree species and palms. Ninety-one species of mammals and 461 bird species have been counted in the park.[1]

Wild fruits[edit]

The following wild fruits are found in Kaeng Krachan National Park.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wongruang, Piyaporn (10 November 2018). "SPECIAL REPORT: Kaeng Krachan's main priority: tourism or wildlife protection?". The Nation. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "KAENG KRACHAN NATIONAL PARK". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Thailand bid to list Kaeng Krachan back to square one". Bangkok Post. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  4. ^ noname (wild) at Kaeng Krachan National Park Archived 29 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Wongruang, Piyaporn (2013-05-05). "Elephant slaughter: The gangs get bold". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  6. ^ 5 park officials wanted for poaching elephants - Witness 'saw carcass burnt' at Kaeng Krachan (Thailand) Archived August 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Young elephant dies in fatal electrocution". The Nation. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Parks, fast cars a bad mix" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. ^ Rujivanarom, Pratch (17 October 2018). "Road upgrade in Kaeng Krachan Park has nature lovers howling". The Nation. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Road project in Kaeng Krachan park halted as environmentalists attack plan". The Nation. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  11. ^ Wongruang, Piyaporn (17 November 2018). "SPECIAL REPORT: Park road fight a watershed moment". The Nation. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-08-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]