PHETCHABURI: The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) recently observed a prototype method aimed at helping manage macaques nationwide.
Department officials including director-general Atthaphon Charoenchansa recently visited Khao Wang, a famous mountain in Phetchaburi, to view the prototype enclosure at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) in Tha Yang district in the province.
Along the top of the walls of the 200-square-metre enclosure, low-voltage cables and 1.5-metre-wide aluminium plates have been installed to prevent the monkeys from escaping.
This method had been used to manage monkey populations for at least a decade and was used for the prototype, said Yuthapol Angkinan, an adviser to the department.
He said the enclosure was built to provide housing for resident macaques on the mountain, where they are known for annoying area residents and tourists.
The system was developed after Phetchaburi governor Nattachai Nampoonsuksan urged that Kao Wang macaques be removed from the protected wildlife list, not only because of their unruly behaviour but also for their own safety as their population is expanding outside their usual area.
Mr Yuthapol said the prototype enclosure would be developed further into a new unit to be installed at the 300-rai Huai Sai Wildlife Breeding Station in Cha-am district of Phetchaburi.
The DNP had considered using an area on Koh Leum in Prachuap Khiri Khan for the project. However, the Royal Thai Army, which owns the island, denied the request as it is used only for security missions.
At least 300 monkeys are expected to live in the cage at the breeding station at first, said Mr Yuthapol. State agencies will sign a memorandum of understanding with WFFT chairman Edwin Wiek to construct the enclosure. The model should help with the problem of the fast-growing macaque population nationwide.
Mr Yuthapol said the department would also work on another monkey management project in Phetchaburi with financial support from provincial authorities.