The Annotated Ramsar List: Thailand


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Thailand on 13 September 1998. Thailand presently has 13 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 392,822 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Bung Khong Long Non-Hunting Area. 05/07/01; Nong Khai Province; 2,214 ha; 17°59’N 103°59’E. Non-Hunting Area. One of the largest lakes in northeastern Thailand along the Lao frontier, the site supports nationally vulnerable and endangered fish and birds and is important for some 33 species of wintering migratory waterbirds. It also qualifies under both of the Ramsar fish criteria, supporting a number of endemic species and acting as a vital food source and spawning ground for the important subsistence fishing industry. Ramsar site no. 1098. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Don Hoi Lot. 05/07/01; Samut Songkhram Province; 87,500 ha; 13°21’N 099°59’E. A rare type of natural wetland for Thailand, comprising sandbars at the mouth of the Mae Klong river with a vast area of intertidal mudflats, an extremely productive location for the Hoi Lot (Solen regularis), an economically important mollusc unique to this region. Characterized by dynamic coastal features of the Bight of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, formed from river and marine sediments extending some 8km from shoreline into the sea with less than a 1% slope. Mangroves are present along the shoreline on the east side. In addition to its 10 economically important mollusc species, the site is also important for tourism attracted to the natural environment, local identity, traditional fisheries and fishing technologies, seafoods and other fishery products. Development projects are perceived as a potential threat, and water pollution from upriver industries, urban and agricultural runoff present major problems, as do encroachment of mangroves for aquaculture and tourist infrastructure, to the extent that extinction of Solen regularis is feared without more effective management. A management plan has been approved by the National Environment Board but not yet budgeted for. Ramsar site no. 1099. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Had Chao Mai Marine National Park - Ta Libong Island Non-Hunting Area - Trang River Estuaries. 14/08/02; Trang Province; 66,313 ha; 07°22'N 099°24'E. Includes National Park. Three connected wetland ecosystems with riverine, estuarine, and coastal wetlands, including mangroves and nypa, sand beach and rocky marine shores, mud flats, coral reefs and seagrass beds. The site supports at least 212 bird species, some of them vulnerable or endangered, as well as 75 species of fish, most of them of economic importance, and dugongs. The healthiest and most richly diverse seagrass ecosystem in Thailand, the Marine Park is home to eight species of seagrass. Inshore and offshore fisheries are locally important, and both small- and large-scale tourism is encouraged by white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and other attractive features. Potential threats are considered to come from agricultural encroachment, illegal timber logging, destructive fishing practices, and discharge of waste water upstream in the Trang River. Ramsar site no. 1182. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Kaper Estuary - Laemson Marine National Park - Kraburi Estuary. 14/08/02; Ranong Province; 122,046 ha; 09°36'N 098°39'E. Biosphere Reserve; includes National Park. The largest concentration of mangrove forest remaining in the country and said to be one of the most extensive in the Indo-Pacific region, the site also includes nypa forests, mud flats, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and seagrass beds. The fish community among Ranong mangroves, despite heavy fishing pressure, is both abundant and diverse, with more than 82 species recorded. Diverse local cultures co-exist within the site, including Buddhist, Moslem, and Chao Lae ("sea gypsy") animist communities, among quite a few others. The site itself is chiefly used for research and environmental training, with agriculture and shrimp farming practiced in the surrounding area; over-harvesting of natural forest products and an increase in shrimp ponds and other aquaculture are perceived as potential threats, whereas ecotourism provides significant activities for local communities. Ramsar site no. 1183. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Ko Kra Archipelago. 12/08/2013; Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province; 374 ha; 08°23’49”N 100°44’13”E. Protected Area. The site consists of three remote and relatively undisturbed small rocky islets in the southern area of the Gulf of Thailand, about 53 km east of the mainland. About 66 hectares around the archipelago are covered by an extensive coral reef, with a total of 67 species of hard coral, the highest coral diversity recorded in the Gulf of Thailand. The main island, Kra Yai (34 ha), is an important nesting ground for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and the endangered Green turtle Chelonia mydas. The critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi is also found at the site. The lagoons and sheltered bays of the islands have long provided storm shelter for fishing boats during the monsoon season. The reefs attract divers and snorkellers from around the world and help sustain commercial fisheries that mainly target Yellow queenfish (Scomberoides commersonianus), Red snapper (Lutjanus fulviframma), and Cobia (Rachycentron canadum). The site is monitored by the Royal Thai Navy and a national fisheries law prohibits fishing within 3 km of the islands, but illegal turtle egg harvesting and fishing, including dynamite fishing and poisoning, threaten the site. Ramsar Site no. 2152. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Ko Ra-Ko Phra Thong Archipelago. 12/08/2013; Phang Nga Province; 19,648 ha; 09º08’16”N 098º16’34”E. The site consists of two islands in the Andaman Sea, 2 km off the west coast of Southern Thailand. About 1,064 people, most of them fishermen; inhabit the area, which features a rare and complex habitat mosaic including grasslands, peat swamp forests, freshwater pools, evergreen forests, mangrove forests, extensive seagrass beds and coral reefs. The site provides nesting and foraging habitat for four threatened turtle species, the Green, Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, and Leatherback Turtles. Ko Phra Thong Island is the last remaining site in Thailand known to support a significant breeding population of the vulnerable Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus. Important mammal species include the endangered Sunda pangolin Manis javanica, the vulnerable Sambar deer Cervus unicolor, and the Dugong. 700 hectares of seagrass beds represent an important nursery ground for 268 species of coastal fishes and numerous other marine species. Collection of Lesser Adjutant nestlings for food, unsustainable tourism development, land reclamation and land encroachment are the main threats within the site, with overfishing and destructive fishing occurring along the coast. Ramsar Site no. 2153. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Krabi Estuary. 05/07/01; Krabi Province; 21,299 ha; 07°58’N 098°55’E. National Reserve Forest. An area of sand beach, mangroves, and mudflats, with some steep wooded cliffs and intertidal mudflats extending up to 2km offshore at low tide. A complex of rivers open to the sea within the site, and extensive seagrass beds are present at Sriboya Island. Some 221 bird species are found in the mangrove areas, and the mudflats form one of the most important areas in southern Thailand for migratory birds. Water quality has suffered from nearby community enlargement and the rapid growth of tourism from nearby Krabi city, and increased aquaculture may bring cause for concern. Most mangrove areas are presently forest concession but will convert to conservation purposes by the end of 2001. Ramsar site no. 1100. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Kuan Ki Sian of the Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area. 13/05/98; Songkhla; 494 ha; 07º50’N 100º08’E. Non-hunting Area. Located just north of the very large Thale Luang (Lake Songkla) in the south of the country, it is one of the few surviving intact freshwater wetland ecosystems in Thailand; specific wetland types found here are lake, marsh, Melaleuca (paperbark) swamp forest, paddy fields, and swamp grass lands. "Kuans" are islands free of water for most of the year located in the Melaleuca swamp forest: Kuan Ki Sian is a knoll at 0-2 meters above mean sea level within the Thale Noi area. The Thale Noi area is home to more than 5,000 families, almost all of which rely on some extraction or land use within the area. Activities include fishing, cattle grazing, cultivation, mat-making and tourism – the site is visited by more than 200,000 foreign and local visitors annually. Ramsar site no. 948. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Kut Ting Marshland. 19/06/09; Buengkan District, Nongkhai Province; 2,200 ha; 18°18’N 103º41’E. This Ramsar Site is located in the northeast region of Thailand and features many wetland types and habitats with a diverse array of species. Streams, lakes, marshes and flooded agricultural land are common in Kut Ting and as such, this site is a stunning example of an intact array of important wetland types in the Mekong Ecoregion. The site provides a haven for 54 species of birds of which several are endangered, for example, Baer's Pochard (Aythya baeri) and Isok barb (Probarbus jullieni). The forests of Kut Ting support over 150 plant species while surrounding wetlands provide nursing and spawning grounds for approximately 113 species of fish. Nine of them are endemic to the site and some typical fish species include Clupeichthys aesarnensis and Boraras micros and 80 species are commercially important. Kut Ting plays an important role in flood control while also supplying water to locals during the dry season. Sediment sourced from the Mekong River provides land for cash crops of watermelon, tomato and rice paddy cultivation. At least 22 species of waterplants are utilised by locals as vegetable, for fodder and handicrafts and about 56 fish species are harvested for both domestic and commercial use. Minor threats to the site include overfishing and pesticide/domestic waste runoff from surrounding areas. The Thai Department of Fisheries, Provincial Natural Resource and Environment Provincial has jurisdiction over the site and a Wetland Committee is responsible for the management of the site and adjacent areas. Ramsar Site n. 1926. Most recent RIS information: 2009.

Mu Koh Ang Thong Marine National Park. 14/08/02; Surathani Province; 10,200 ha; 09°37'N 099°41'E. National Park. A complex of 42 small islands in the Gulf of Thailand, including sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, coral reefs, and young mangrove forests. The Ang Thong Lady Slipper (Paphiopedilum niveum) is said to be endemic to a limestone mountain on Ang Thong Island. The shallow sea bed, sediments discharged from the Tapi River, and strong currents among islands contribute to lack of water transparency, which obstructs coral growth to some extent and limits diving tourism, but with its other attractions the area draws more than 50,000 Thai and international visitors per year for recreation and ecotourism. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1184. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Nong Bong Kai Non-Hunting Area. 05/07/01; Chiang Rai Province; 434 ha; 20°14’N 100°02’E. Non-hunting area. A beautiful small lake (also known as Chiang Saen), surrounded by mountains and low hills, in the extreme north of the country adjacent to the Lao and Burmese frontiers, the site is of major importance for both local and migratory birds, particularly waterbirds, including globally vulnerable species such as Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri); some 15 species nest in the site during October to March. Local communities are permitted to practice fishing and harvest lotus flowers and fruit within the non-hunting area, and orchards and tourist resorts in the surrounding area provide job opportunities; residential and resort development are beginning to impact wildlife, however. Birdwatching is actively pursued in the area. Ramsar site no. 1101. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Pang Nga Bay Marine National Park. 14/08/02; Pang Nga Province; 40,000 ha; 08°17'N 098°36'E. National Park. A shallow bay with 42 islands, comprising shallow marine waters and intertidal forested wetlands, with at least 28 species of mangrove; seagrass beds and coral reefs are also present. At least 88 bird species, including the globally threatened Malaysian Plover (Charadrius peronii) and Asian Dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), can be found within the site, as well as 82 fish species, 18 reptiles, three amphibians, and 17 mammal species, including endangered Dugong, White-hand Gibbon (Hylobates lar), Serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), and Black Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides). A number of diverse cultures co-exist in local communities, practicing fishing, harvesting Nypa palm fronds for thatch, and catering to an extensive international tourist presence drawn both by the natural beauties and by archaeological sites, including paintings more than a thousand years old. Ramsar site no. 1185. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Princess Sirindhorn Wildlife Sanctuary (Pru To Daeng Wildlife Sanctuary). 05/07/01; Narathiwas Province; 20,100 ha; 06°12’N 101°57’E. Wildlife Sanctuary. The largest remaining peat swamp forest in Thailand, situated in the extreme south, the site supports a high diversity of flora and fauna, including 217 bird, 52 reptile, and 62 fish species, some of which are nationally vulnerable or endangered; 106 species of butterfly are supported, as well as 60 mammal species, including 13 species of bats. The site is a popular tourist destination, and surrounding communities depend upon direct and indirect use of the forest’s resources for low-intensity exploitation, such as fisheries and melaleuca harvesting for charcoal. Development in the 1980s, principally clearing for brief rice cultivation (followed in each case within two years by soil acidification) to the loss of two-thirds of the forest area, was curtailed by Sanctuary status in 1991. A management plan has been approved by the Royal Forest Department, and research and visitors’ facilities are in place. Ramsar site no. 1102. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

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