The Kuiburi Wildlife Conservation Project | WWF

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The Kuiburi Wildlife Conservation Project

© © WWF-Greater Mekong / Wayuphong Jitvijak

In 2018 the Kuiburi Wildlife Conservation Project collaborated with the DNP and WCS to improve monitoring of tigers and other wildlife in Kaeng Krachan National Park, the largest national park in Thailand. Camera traps were installed in sixteen locations and 32 species of mammal were identified, including pangolin (CR), tiger, tapir, Asian elephant, and dhole (EN), leopard, Asiatic black bear, and gaur (VU), golden jackal, red muntjac, leopard cat (LC), Asiatic golden cat (NT) and Fea’s muntjac, and mouse deer (DD) according to the IUCN Red List.

WHY IT MATTERS?

The Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) is a vast mountainous area of connected evergreen rainforests which lies in the Tenasserim Range on the boundary between Thailand and Myanmar. Conjoining Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region, the forest complex covers approximately 4,702 sq. km. of four natural reserves, including the Mae Nam Phachi Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kaeng Krachan, Kui Buri and Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Parks. In collaboration with  the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), we work to equip forest rangers with the technology and tactics to better protect these natural habitats.
 
One of the biggest challenges in the Kuiburi National Park, WWF-Thailand’s main conservation area in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, is conflict between wild elephants and longtime farmers surrounding the national park. With the DNP and the Kuiburi National Park rangers, we are working to reduce human-elephant conflict and protect this natural habitat by providing training, tools and other resources to increase patrol and research capacity. From monitoring species and collecting landscape data, to increasing wildlife food sources and finding solutions to human-elephant conflict, we put an emphasis on our partnership with the organizations and communities we work with.
 
 

HOW DO WE DO THIS ?

Our approach combines scientifically rigorous monitoring and innovative methods of collaborative management to conserve wildlife and natural habitat. To resolve human-elephant conflict at the Kuiburi National Park, WWF-Thailand is utilizing scientific research and strategic planning on two levels:
 
  1. Conservation fieldwork: improving food sources for wildlife by methods like increasing grass feeding areas, installing artificial salt licks, ensuring adequate water sources during droughts and preventing elephant crop damage
  2. Capacity training: cooperating with other NGOs and private sector to increase efficiency and safety for rangers in preventing human-elephant conflict and improving patrol duties
 
Camera traps
In 2017, WWF-Thailand began working with mobile service provider True Corporation and DNP to set up the Kuiburi Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) Early Warning System to reduce human-elephant conflict. Camera traps installed around the national park automatically sends images to rangers whenever elephants are identified, helping them prevent wild elephants from damaging farmers’ crops. In 2019, the SMART system was able to reduce crop damage from wild elephants from 25 percent (out of the number of times elephants were identified) from the year before, down to 4 percent.
 
The camera traps have also identified other magnificent species roaming the landscape, including the pangolin (CR)*, tiger, tapir, Asian elephant, dhole (EN)*, leopard, Asiatic black bear, gaur (VU)*, golden jackal, red muntjac, leopard cat (LC)*, Asiatic golden cat (NT)* Fea’s muntjac and mouse deer (DD)*!
 
* Conservation status according to the IUCN Red List: 
 
SMART Patrol
To increase the effectiveness of patrolling tactics and also provide security for forest rangers, alongside WCS and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), we have provided SMART Patrol training to 50 forest guards from Kaeng Krachan National Park, Kuiburi National Park, Chaloem Prakiat Thai Prachan National Park and Mai Nam Pachee Wildlife Sanctuary.