Another Unesco listing for Thailand
The Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex south-west of Bangkok has been awarded Unesco World Heritage Status. The area sits along the Thai/Myanmar border and occupies the western half of Petchburi province spilling into Ratchaburi to the north and Prachuap Khiri Khan to the south.
The award was made at the World Heritage Committee’s 44th session which is being held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China which runs until July 31.
The site includes the Thai side of the Tenasserim mountains, part of a north-south limestone and granite ridge which runs down the Malay Peninsula. It is also where the Himalayan, Indochina, and Sumatran fauna and floral regions meet. The area is dominated by evergreen, deciduous and montane forest and boasts a rich biodiversity with a number of endemic and globally endangered plant species.
It is also home to the critically endangered Siamese crocodile, the endangered Asiatic wild dog, banteng – a type of wild cattle, elephant, yellow-headed or elongated tortoise and the Asian giant tortoise as well as numerous other species of birds and mammals. There are no less than eight different cat species; the endangered tiger and fishing cat, the Asian golden cat, leopard and clouded leopard, the leopard cat, marbled cat and jungle cat.
The listing brings the number of Unesco sites in the country to six. The two other natural heritage sites are the Thungyai and Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries and the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex. The three cultural heritage listed sites are; the historic city of Ayutthaya, the ancient city of Sukhothai and its associated historic towns and the Ban Chiang archaeological site.
Photo: A herd of Gaurs in the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex ©Sunee Sakseau