road through Khao Ang Rue Nai wildlife sanctuary, in Chachoengsao
province, will be closed at night to stop wild elephants stopping
and raiding cargo trucks. ''A herd of about 20 elephants frequently
blocks the road and holds up cargo trucks until a bundle of
sugarcane, tapioca or pineapple is tossed to them as a highway
fee,'' Chachoengsao governor Arnont Promnart said yesterday.
Otherwise, the truculent animals would attack and damage the
trucks, as happened on Jan 6.
in the next few days, the 14.7km route No. 3259 through the
park _ the Ban Nong Kog-Ban Wang Nam Phon road _ will be closed
from 9pm to 5am to prevent further danger to travellers and
said the matter was urgent because during the dry season wild
animals would cross the road to drink at the Phutai reservoir
at night. The governor acted on sanctuary chief Yoo Senatham's
suggestion after the elephants' behaviour became worse, with
two herds now involved in the pillaging at night. Mr Yoo said
he feared the elephants would get accustomed to being fed
by travellers and that habit would put the animals and travellers
at risk. However, the raids are no longer limited to the night.
today [Thursday], a big male elephant of over 1,000 kilogrammes
stood in the middle of the road about 9am. On seeing a motorcycle
coming, the animal fearlessly approached it,'' he said.
elephant-scaring team has been set up to prevent the elephants
being hit by vehicles and attacking people. The sanctuary
foundation, chaired by former army chief Gen Pravit Wongsuwan,
has put up roadside warnings and handed out 10,000 leaflets
telling travellers to beware and to stop feeding the animals.
past five years, three people and 14,408 wild animals have
died in car accidents on route No. 3259. The 643,750 rai sanctuary
spills into five provinces: Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi,
Sa Kaew and Prachin Buri.
from Bangkok Post,
19th January 2006.
wild animal deaths on one road in just four years is an unbelievably
high number and just goes to prove how damaging to wildlife
fragmentation of their habitat is. Although a road may not
seem much of an imposition upon a wildlife area in terms of
the loss of area involved, roads greatly increase the amount
of edge habitat and the "edge effect" upon the core
areas. Roads are a serious problem for wildlife trying to
cross it, as this article proves, not to mention that certain
species simply will not cross them, effectively creating two
isolated populations with little or no transference of genes.
Depleted gene pools can leave species more vulnerable to catastrophic
events such as disease. Another issue surrounding roads through
wildlife areas is that it allows poachers to enter and encourages
encroachment into areas previously inaccessible to developers.
In Thailand this can often include development by the National