Protected areas > Huai Kha Kaeng
|The creek in the neighbourhood
of the sanctuary's headquarters flows to the Kha Kaeng river
Combined with the adjoining
Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, Huai
Kha Kaeng forms the largest
protected area in mainland South-East Asia, covering in total 622,200 ha.
Although the two sanctuaries are administered separately, they are
essentially a single conservation area. Both of them were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations
The wildlife sanctuary was created on September 4, 1972.
Thung Yai Naresuan/Huai Kha Khaeng has some important wetland sites, riverine forests,
lakes, ponds, swamps,
savannahs and many streams, all
suitable for wildlife breeding expansion.
Huai Kha Khaeng supports a significant proportion of Thailand's animal
species. Of Thailand's 265 mammal species, 67 are known to occur in this
Some 24-40 water buffalo (the only herd in
Thailand) are found in the south of the sanctuary, but there is some
doubts whether or not there has been any interbreeding with domestic
animals. Other threatened mammals include Asiatic wild dog, tiger, a few
species of leopard, Asian elephant
(estimated to number 150-200 animals), Asian tapir (rarely seen, but tracks
are common in parts of the sanctuary).
Gaur and banteng are still fairly common, although they have become
increasingly rare elsewhere in Thailand due to poaching. At least two
species of otter have been identified. All five macaque species occurring in Thailand are present
as are other primate species.
Camp site and bungalows are available at the sanctuary's headquarters and
some ranger stations.
70 km from Ban Rai (Uthai Thani province) by car along a partly paved road. 4WD is not necessary in the dry
season (November to April).
Access to the wildlife sanctuary
Huai Kha Kaeng is a wildlife sanctuary, which is much more strictly
protected area than a national park. Wildlife sanctuaries are designated to
allow as free and undisturbed movement of animals as possible. Therefore
they are open mainly for educational or scientific research or for
volunteering. Special permit is necessary to enter a wildlife sanctuary.
For more detailed information on Huai Kha Kaeng see the
United Nations Environment Programme page.