Covid closure brings rare wildlife back to Songkhla national park
Images of hornbills and other rare wild animals taken in Songkhla’s Khao Nam Khang National Park were posted on the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Facebook page on Sunday.
Parit Narasaritkul, the national park’s chief, said the discovery of up to 200 plain-pouched hornbills proves the park’s ecosystem is abundant.
“Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silapa-archa’s decision to temporarily close the park during the Covid-19 crisis, park officials’ smart patrols and communities’ cooperation to save natural resources have contributed to this,” he said.
Park officials also spotted other wild animals during patrol, including the great argus pheasant, deer, blue long-glanded coral snake and scarlet-breasted flowerpecker birds.
“The blue long-glanded coral snake has not been spotted for more than 10 years,” he said.
The 137,800-rai Khao Nam Khang National Park – declared Thailand’s 65th national park in 1990 – straddles Songkhla’s Na Thawi and Sadao districts. Its name, which translates to “dew mountain”, was chosen by locals who had seen dew on the peak. Since it sits on the border between Thailand and Malaysia, it was used as a base by Malay-Chinese Communist insurgents until the 1980s.