Preserving Ecological Diversity: Strengthening Patrol Operations to Protect Endangered Species in the Southern WEFCOM, Thailand

Timeframe: 2022 - 2025
Country/Region: Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, Thailand
Partner: Panthera

The Western Forest Complex (WEFCOM) in Thailand is one of the most important forest areas of Southeast Asia and home to many endangered species, including Sunda pangolin, Asian elephant, Malayan tapir, dhole, gaur, banteng, Indochinese leopard and tiger. Composed of 17 contiguous protected areas, WEFCOM has at its core the Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng World Heritage Site harbouring the largest breeding population of Indochinese tigers in Thailand. Unfortunately, the protected areas to the south, including Khuean Srinagarindra National Park (KSR), have not benefitted from the same level of protection and are vulnerable to many threats, including poaching.

Khuean Srinagarindra National Park is an outstanding example of a park with special protection needs because of its unique landscape characteristics. A reservoir at the centre of the park enables poachers to easily access remote forest areas while at the same time increasing the complexity of wildlife protection operations.

Support from Fondation Segré will enable Panthera to increase the capacity of KSR rangers to perform water patrols and to upgrade ranger station radio systems and provide wireless internet functionality. This will improve real-time information sharing and coordination of wildlife protection operations within the park. In addition, the project will employ a community-based approach to build awareness and acceptance of the park regulations and engage with community members to develop collaborative approaches to mitigate wildlife crimes in the area.

Priority actions implemented include:

  • Consolidate and upskill current patrol capacity in northern KSR by establishing water patrolling system and enhancing SMART patrols.
  • Inform and support patrol operations in northern KSR by restoring communication systems.
  • Foster understanding and cooperation to reduce conflict between community livelihoods and wildlife protection operations, emphasizing crime prevention by cooperative community engagement.