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National parks may close annually to recover wildlife

Caitlin Ashworth




Environmentalist think Thailand’s national parks need to take a break. They’re considering closing the parks once a year to give wildlife time to rehabilitate. Since many parks have been closed during the coronavirus pandemic, wildlife has returned to areas, according to Environment and Natural resources Minister Varawut Silpa-archa.

By closing the parks for a 2 to 4 months out of the year, Varawut says parks will be able to improve conservation and recover from damage done during the tourist season. They plan to start the annual closures next year which will be staggered so not all the parks are closed at the same time. Some parks already close annually during the rainy season.

“This is so that nature can rehabilitate itself and the park rangers can improve the parks.”

Thailand has more than 100 national parks. Some popular ones are Phi Phi Islands and Phang Nga Bay. Both offer many party boat excursions. Koh Phi Phi Ley’s Maya Bay will continue to be closed. Years of mass tourism to Maya Bay, the spot where the “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed, caused so much damage that it could take up to 40 years for the coral reefs to recover, Varawut says.

More than 20 million people visited the parks last year, according to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Last year’s park fees added up to 2.2 billion baht. With international travel restrictions still in place, the government expects a drastic drop in the number of visitors.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    As a side-note, Similan and Surin islands Marine National Parks already close from May to October

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    I thought this was standard for all parks.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    There will be not tourist season in these parks for a long time,certainly not from westerners Paying 500 when the This pay B50.
    This is just an excuse to close the parks. Truth is that that they will be deserted anyway.

  4. Avatar

    Bill Fischer

    Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Phang Nga Bay is not crowded. There are only a few spots that get too many visitors: James Bond Island, Koh Hong (both of them), Koh Panak, and Koh Khai Nok. Just come up with volume limits, control the tacky mass tourism operators and you won’t have to shut the entire bay down. Oh wait, that would mean the park rangers would actually have to do something. Nevermind, just shut it down so they can relax.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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