by Nick Upton
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Enthusiastic Monks and Visiting Experts at Yonok Wetlands
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Despite an invasion of around 200 buffalo at the tree planting area of Wat Viang Cum, which has now been resolved with the owners, excellent progress continues to be made at Yonok Wetlands by Mick Davies and Dowroong Danlamajak.

With the full support of Khun Boonpop, Khun May and Khun, the Chiang Saen Lake Non-hunting Area staff, last month's mist netting crisis was resolved with the removal of over 80 nets from 10 locations in the area.

Other minor problems that have been tackled by Mick and Dowroong included the rescue of a White-throated Kingfisher destined for the dinner plate, now being looked after by Pra Ajarn Sane Tawaro until it regrows its flight feathers.

Buffalo at Wat Viang Cum
(Photo by Mick Davies)

Other enthusiastic local monks at Wat Pa Mak Nor have designed and built a floating viewing platform in order to view the large harrier roost there, which can accommodate up to 200 birds at its peak.

Floating Hide at Wat Pa Mak Nor
(Photo by Mick Davies)

The Abbots of Wat Pa Mak Nor and Wat Viang Cum are both keen to promote conservation in the area and welcome visitors: both are looking into a way of providing accommodation for visitors at the two temples.

With this support from 2 very influential temple abbotts, Mick and Dowroong have decided to make Wat pa Mak Nor the headquarters of the Yonok Wetlands Project.

With the area being of outstanding ornithological interest a number of ornithological and conservation experts have visited Yonok Wetlands in the last month. Dr Mong of the Lanna birdwatching group continues to make regular visits and encourage birdwatching amongst the locals and in October (2007) Phil Round, author of A Guide to the Birds of Thailand, paid a visit along with Andy Pearce. Other visitors have included local birder John Parr, TV naturalist Jeffrey Boswell and representatives of the BCST and RSPB.

Hopefully visiting birders will support this project over the coming "winter". I shall be visiting Yonok myself at the end of january 2008.

Nick Upton, 29th October 2007 from information on Yonok Wetland Project website.

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Related Pages:
Baer's Pochard
Chiang Saen
Chiang Saen Checklist (Mekong River)
Chiang Saen Checklist (Nong Bong Khai)
Is Chiang Saen Lake shrinking?
Latest Additions to Thai Checklist
Massive Increase in Bird Trapping at Chiang Saen
Northern Thailand Birdwatching Locations
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