Rare animal numbers rising in southern Thai sanctuary

Researchers believe the number of big cats, such as clouded leopards and Asian golden cats, along with other rare wildlife, are rising in a southern Thai sanctuary and credited increasing and more effective patrols by rangers that have foiled poachers.

Kriangsak Sribuarod, Chief of the research station at the Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Surat Thani province, said a survey of the wildlife population carried out during September and October this year indicated that the numbers of many animals are increasing. The sanctuary covers an area of 446 square miles.

“It is believed there are about 200 wild elephants and 400 gaurs in the sanctuary. The population of clouded leopards and Asian golden cats is believed to have increased,” Kriangsak said.

The survey used cameras installed in strategic locations to take pictures of endangered and protected animals in an area north of the Ratchaprapha dam. Images showed rare animals such as clouded leopards and Asian golden cats were captured.

Kriangsak said that traces of other rare animals such as black tigers and leopards were also found. Attempts would be made to take more photos of them, he added
The cameras also caught images of tapirs, chamois, marbled cats, barking deers, wild elephants, and gaurs.

Meanwhile, on a beach in southern Phangnga province, national park workers discovered and moved 85 fertile eggs from a leatherback turtle, taking them to a protected area along the shore.

This was the second year in a row that leatherback turtles returned to lay eggs on the coast of the Andaman Sea after disappearing for about a decade.

The return of the turtles was considered good news, especially in light of the toll that plastic pollution has been taking on sea life in Thailand and around Southeast Asia in recent years.

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