National Parks closed to curb new spread of Covid-19

National Parks closed to curb new spread of Covid-19

When it comes to agriculture and environmental issues, Thailand has seen many major developments. Apinya Wipatayotin recalls five significant events which grabbed headlines this year.

Deer cross a car park at the Khao Yai National Park office on June 25, when the park began testing its QUEQ mobile application designed for securing advance booking to visit the park. Arnun Chonmahatrakool
Deer cross a car park at the Khao Yai National Park office on June 25, when the park began testing its QUEQ mobile application designed for securing advance booking to visit the park. Arnun Chonmahatrakool

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation ordered all national parks across the country to close in March to prevent the novel coronavirus disease from spreading further during the country's first wave of infections.

For a few months, the environment was left untouched, with minimal artificial disturbances. As a consequence, nature began to recover in many places. Improvements in marine habitats which followed the lockdown proved the best way to let the environment recover is to leave it alone, so it can rehabilitate itself.

The department's Facebook page recently showed a pod of 15 killer whales swimming around Koh Rok in Lanta National Park, Krabi, just 400 metres away from the beach.

The killer whales have never been seen in the area before, so excited officials spent almost two hours documenting the rare sighting.

Whales have also been sighted in Phang-nga's Koh Yao Noi, while dolphins were recently seen in Ban Laem Klad in Trat.

Meanwhile, a well-known marine biologist from Kasetsart University, Thon Thamrongnawasawat, grabbed attention for his updates on the surge of leatherback turtles in Phang-nga's Bang Kwan beach, where 11 nests were found.

In previous years, only a few nests were found on the beach, as the turtles won't come to nest if they don't consider the site safe for nesting. According to the posts, over 50 hatchlings were found in the nests this year.

Pictures of recovering coral reefs across the country have also been widely shared on social media, reflecting the increasing public awareness on the need for sustainable development.

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