The Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List making it Thailand’s sixth World Heritage Site.
The decision to add Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex was made at the World Heritage Committee’s 44th session, held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China. The session will continue through to 31 July 2021.
Located inside Thailand’s largest national park of the same name, Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex covers 464,000 hectares and spans across the three provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, and Ratchaburi.
It is the third natural heritage site after Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries was listed in 1991 and Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex in 2005.
UNESCO describes Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as rich in biodiversity with semi-evergreen/dry evergreen, moist evergreen and some mixed deciduous forest, montane forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest. The area has abundant birdlife, including several globally threatened species, and is home to the critically endangered Siamese Crocodile, the endangered Asiatic Wild Dog and several other vulnerable wildlife species. There are also eight resident cat species, including the endangered Tiger and Fishing Cat, the vulnerable Clouded Leopard and Marbled Cat, the Jungle Cat, and Leopard Cat.
Thailand’s other three World Heritage List locations are cultural heritage sites; these being Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, Historic City of Ayutthaya, and the Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns.