Proposal for gaurs to be moved away from Khao Phaengma rejected

An idea floated by Nakhon Ratchasima governor Vichien Chantaranothai for gaurs in Khao Phaengma Non-Hunting Area in Nakhon Ratchasima's Wang Nam Khieo district to be moved to nearby forest has been rejected by Wijarn Simachaya, the permanent secretary for natural resources and environment.

Mr Vichien floated the idea for the evacuation of some gaurs from Khao Phaengma after the gaurs had caused damage to farms of the local residents. Three gaurs were found to have been killed in the month of November alone.

The governor said the best way of solving this problem is for some of the gaurs to be moved out from Khao Phaengma to the neighbouring Khao Phu Luang Non-Hunting Area in Wang Nam Khieo district which covers a larger area.

Mr Wijarn, however, disagreed with the idea, reasoing that gaurs are not a kind of wild animals which can easily adjust to a new environment.

He said he would assign the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department to meet all people concerned to find a way out of this problem.

Khao Phaengma Non-Hunting Area, which covers an area of about 5,000 rai, is home to about 300 gaurs�a sharp increase from 7-8 gaurs in 1994, thanks to wildlife conservation campaign.

However, with the limited area of habitat, villagers have frequently sighted gaurs, mostly during the dry season, which have destroyed their farm produce, leading to gaur-human conflict, which is believed to be the cause of the death of the gaurs.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)