The National Environment Board (NEB) has finally approved the long discussed plan to build a "wildlife corridor" to aid wild animals crossing Highway 304 in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai World Heritage Site to link Khao Yao and Thap Lan national parks. There will be two elevated sections and two tunnels, totalling 1500 metres.
Wow, that might be the best news I've heard in years! A 3 billion project just for nature.
In my home country they've made bridges (ecoduct) over the highway. So animals use the bridge to cross the highway. I estimate these are just about 100 m wide, so perhaps a bit smaller than the tunnel sections they plan to make. But when you walk on the top you don't have the feeling you're on a bridge except that you hear traffic. And it has proven to work!
There is concern that this would turn into a poaching spot.
Maybe useful to create a ranger station nearby and place 24hr surveillance cams in the crossing areas.
Anyway I suppose they will set up permanent camera traps to see if the crossings are actually used by animals.
Thanks for sharing, great news to start the morning just before I'm going for another KY visit.
Just awesome news! Lets hope it can get underway before any political difficulties disrupt it's process.
How brilliant it would be to interlink these two vast areas, maybe onflipflops you might even get some previously extirpated carnivores back in your neck of the woods..........
There was never any secret about the road expansion, this is why the whole story came to the attention of the public many years ago, even before UNESCO included the problem of the road in a set of conditions to be rectified if World Heritage Status was to be granted.
The DNP, along with public opinion, managed to stop the Highways Department from expanding the road to four lanes at the two points the parks converge. If you ever go there you will see the sheer amount of traffic that flows through 24hrs a day. Its impossible to not see the road expanding as its the main gateway from the eastern seaboard to the northeast of Thailand.
As the road was made prior to the need for EIA's let alone SEIA's there is no legal requirement to consult anyone about its expansion. Well minded groups who want to stop the expansion, albeit underground or on raised fly-overs, need to suggest other solutions and potential problems before dismissing this trade-off opportunity.
Note, the other major problem for wildlife in the complex is the SE to NE road though Noen Din Daeng #348. This is seeing a lot of expansion, but has largely remained unmentioned, except by UNESCO in their WHS scoping mission. Already it is almost as busy as #304 and unless receives serious public scrutiny will be heading towards motorway standard within 10 years and another site needing a huge budget to mitigate it.
Who knows if NGOs and protesters make too much noise maybe the business sector will flex their muscles and demand more roads through the complex to ship their produce to the port.. then what ?