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Kanchanaburi to declare no-hunting zone after surge in tiger, leopard sightings
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2023
Kanchanaburi province will declare a no-hunting zone over 350 square kilometres of mountain forests where large numbers of wild animals have been sighted.
The Si Sawat No-Hunting Area will cover 219,000 rai (35,040 hectares) in Si Sawat and Bo Phloi districts of Thailand’s westernmost province, said Prawut Prempree, who heads the working group tasked with preparing the zone.
The land belongs to the Treasury Department and is currently used by the Royal Thai Army’s 9th Infantry Division, Prawut said. Both agencies have agreed to allow the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to take over jurisdiction of the area after it is declared a no-hunting zone, he added.
Motion-activated camera traps had recorded a rising number of wild animals in the area, Prawut said on Thursday.
Among the animals sighted were endangered Indochinese tigers, clouded leopards, and gaur.
The zone adjoins existing national parks and forest reserves and has recently seen migration of wildlife from the nearby forests, including the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary.
However, the area has also suffered a rise in hunting, illegal logging, forest encroachment, gathering of forest produce, and cattle raising. The department decided to combat these problems by declaring a no-hunting zone.
The new non-hunting zone will cover three areas – Si Sawat No-Hunting Area, which adjoins the Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park, and Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary; an extended area of the Si Sawat No-Hunting Area; and the planned Khao Salop No-Hunting Area.