Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Thung Yai - Naresuan
98o 45.00' East 15o 25.00' North
100 - 1,811m
Year of IBA assessment
Bird Conservation Society of Thailand
Site description The IBA comprises Thung Yai-Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the largest protected areas in mainland South-east Asia, which lies along the international border with Myanmar. The site is situated within the Western Forest Complex, and adjoins Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA TH024) to the north, Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA TH026) to the east, and Khao Laem (IBA TH027), Lam Khlong Ngu and Sri Nakarind (IBA TH028) National Parks to the south. The topography of the site is generally hilly or mountainous, with numerous permanent rivers and streams dividing the site into valleys and ridges. Notably, the site also includes a large central grassland plain, as well as Doi Khao Yai, one of the highest mountains in western Thailand. The principal vegetation types are hill evergreen forest (c.54,900 ha), dry evergreen forest (c.112,900 ha), mixed deciduous forest (c.164,100 ha), deciduous dipterocarp forest (c.3,600 ha), savanna woodland (c.9,900 ha), grassland (c.3,900 ha), a small area of swamp forest, and some areas of shifting cultivation (c.15,400 ha). Hill evergreen forest occupies the higher elevations, while the more level areas at moderate elevations generally support semi-evergreen forest, mixed deciduous forest and bamboo. In 1991, Thung Yai-Naresuan, together with the adjacent Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA TH026), was designated as a World Heritage Site.
Key Biodiversity Thung Yai-Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the few sites in Thailand to support populations of larger-bodied birds characteristic of forest or successional habitats along undisturbed lowland waterways, such as the globally threatened White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata and Green Peafowl Pavo muticus. Other resident globally threatened species include Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis (which generally has a montane distribution), Plain-pouched Hornbill Aceros subruficollis and Blue-banded Kingfisher Alcedo euryzona. The latter is a Sundaic species that reaches the northernmost limit of its distribution at the site. The globally threatened Silver Oriole Oriolus mellianus has also been recorded at the site but is not confirmed to regularly occur in significant numbers.
There are historical records of other globally threatened species from the site, including Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea (from 1986), Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata (from 1983) and Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis (from 1984). In addition, six globally near-threatened species occur: Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis, Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus tickelli, Lesser Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis, Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus, Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis and Malaysian Honeyguide Indicator archipelagicus. The latter three species have a Sundaic distribution and reach their northern range limits at the site.
Doi Khao Yai supports a typically Sino-Himalayan montane avifauna, including Green Cochoa Cochoa viridis, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus, Rusty-naped Pitta Pitta oatesi, White-necked Laughingthrush Garrulax strepitans, Rufous-throated Partridge Arborophila rufogularis and Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus
The site qualifies under criterion A3 because it supports 33 species restricted to the Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forests (Biome 08), 22 species restricted to the Indochinese Tropical Moist Forests (Biome 09) and 11 species restricted to the Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone (Biome 11).
References Bird Conservation Society of Thailand Bulletin 19(6): 13-16 (June 2002).
BirdLife International (1998) Proceedings of the Thailand IBA workshop, Bangkok, November 1998. Unpublished report.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, U.K.: BirdLife International.
Chantraratien, R. et al. (2001) The Western Forest Complex: the largest forest in Thailand. Bangkok: Seub Nakhasathien Foundation.
Chiang Mai University Biology Department (1989) Seminar on biology VII: biological diversity in Thailand. Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai University.
Forestry Department (1989) Master plan for Thung Yai-Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary management, Tak, Kanchanaburi. Bangkok: Kasetsart University.
Jariwatkavi, N. (1988) Ecology of Asian Tapir in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. Forestry Journal 7(3): 277-288.
Nakhasathien, S. P. (1987) Forestry ecology and wildlife in Thung Yai-Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary. Bangkok: Duan Tula Printing.
Phumiphakphan, N. (1983) Wildlife in Thung Yai-Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary. Forestry Journal 3(1): 1-85.
Round, P. D. (1988) Resident forest birds in Thailand: their status and conservation. Cambridge, UK: International Council for Bird Preservation.
Royal Forestry Department (2000) Inventory of wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand. Bangkok: Royal Forestry Department.
Sukmasoung, R. (1993) Ecology of Asian wild elephant in Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife sanctuary, Uthaithani and Tak provinces. Masters thesis submitted to Kasetsart University.
UNEP/World Conservation Monitoring Center website http//:www.wcmc.org.uk/protected_areas
Wildlife Conservation Division (2000) Basic data for wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand. Bangkok: Office of Natural Resources Conservation, Forestry Department.
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BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Thung Yai - Naresuan. Downloaded from
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