seems that there has been some level of encapsulation and drainage
on at least some of these old "arms" of the lake from
the satelitte picture. How accurate the old boundary is it is difficult
to say; I suspect that it is not 100% accurate, but it does seem
to indicate that the lake has undergone a certain level of shrinkage.
It is possible that this old boundary delineates the boundary of
the protected area and not the area of water, but I suspect that
when considering the age of the old map (around 10-15 years ago)
it is almost certain that there has been some encroachment into
the shallows of this "Non-hunting Area".
areas are typically the richest in terms of biodiversity and it
is highly likely that this encroachment has had a high impact on
the birdlife of the area.
It seems that
I'm not the only one concerned with the situation at Nong Bong Khai
as the following artcile from the Bangkok Post proves.
at Nong Bong Khai (Chiang Saen Lake), one of Thailand's most important
wetland sites, are under threat from the construction of resorts
and public facilities in the area, according to a local conservationist.
Dowroong Damlamajak said more than 10 resorts had been built around
the lake. Ms Dowroong said she was doubtful the resorts met with
all legal requirements for construction in the area, as they were
located on hilly areas near the lake. However, even if they are
lawful, the resorts still pose a major threat to the local ecosystem
and migratory birds, she said.
by local authorities of a public toilet to the north of the lake
was also causing major damage to the lake's fragile ecosystem, she
said. Waste water from the toilet is released into a 300-400 rai
bird-watching area that serves as a safe habitat for some 80 bird
species, including waterfowls, she said. Ms Dowroong said she had
formed a youth group with some 50 members to launch a campaign to
raise local people's awareness of the importance of the lake. However,
their efforts to date had failed.
The lake, covering
over 2,712 rai, is ranked as the country's fifth most important
wetland, and is 1,101st internationally under the Ramsar Convention.
head of the Nong Bong Khai No-Hunting Area, said his agency had
no authority to ban the construction of the resorts around the lake
since they were on private land. The public toilet was built for
use by tourists, he added. He also denied untreated waste water
was being released from the toilet, adding that the toilet was located
a long way away from the bird-watching area mentioned by Ms Dowroong.
He also said the area was located on a private plot left vacant
by a local resident, and was not part of the lake.
are still in abundance around the lake, with more than 10,000 migratory
birds visiting and staying in the area annually, Mr Vachirayu said.