Dept urged to set up Khao Yai corridor

Dept urged to set up Khao Yai corridor

The Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is urging the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to establish a wildlife migration corridor on a 2,700-rai tract in Khao Yai National Park.

The 2,700 rai of land was earmarked to be reforested back in 1996 to mark the 50th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great's ascension to the throne.

Surapol Duangkhee, a veteran conservationist with the organisation, yesterday criticised the DNP for dragging their feet with the project, saying the tract has fallen victim to forest encroachment due to a lack of attention and progress.

Mr Surapol said the wildlife corridor remains unbuilt because no one knows for sure if the tract falls under the jurisdiction of the DNP or the Royal Forest Department.

A network of conservation agencies will petition the DNP to include the tract in question under its jurisdiction, so it can move the establish the planned wildlife corridor.

Khao Yai National Park is part of the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, which has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005.

It is considered an isolated national park, with no corridor for wild animals to migrate. For years, Unesco's World Heritage Committee has urged the Thai government to create wildlife corridors to link the park to nearby forest complexes -- such as the 5.09-million-rai Phu Khiao-Nam Nao Forest Complex.

"Linking Khao Yai National Park with Phu Khiao-Nam Nao Forest Complex through the 2,700-rai corridor will expand the genetic pool of animals in the area," he said.

"Elephants from Khao Yai can also seek out food in other areas through the corridor, thus reducing the likelihood of conflicts between wild jumbos and local farmers."

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