Yonok Wetlands Project

Yonok Wetlands Project Conservation

Current Projects

Harrier Roost , we have been counting and studying Harriers at roost in the Chiang Saen area for five years. It is hoped to publish this report in the near future.

Grass Owl, is a new breeding species in Thailand, we discovered a pair with young recently and a small number of new sites, it is important that we can identify the prime breeding habitat for this species, it seems to prefer areas of wet floating bog, this habitat is fast disappearing as these bog tend to be dug out and dammed in order to store water for rice paddies. It is very time consuming to track down these Owls, they emerge from there roost at dusk almost dark. The first pair took us about 8 weeks to find the nesting area. We currently have 3 sites where Grass Owls have been seen crossing a 2 klm stretch of road, but we have been unable to find these roosts / breeding areas.

Observations: We are currently covering the following areas, Chiang Saen Lake , Yonok Wetland, Little England and a number of small wetland bogs and forested areas, as well as The Mekong Sandbars from Sop Ruak Chiang Klong, collecting information on migration, breeding and wintering populations.


Yonok Wetlands: Projects & Aims with Yonok

In order to achieve an end to hunting, we propose.

1a: Hunting: I have modified my views somewhat in regard to the Buffalo camps. I hope any hunting will disappear now we have the influence of the Temples . I will now adopt a wait and see approach, hopefully there we can avoid pushing people and they will just stop as a result of public awareness and my constant visits.

1b: We have now gained more ready support from the NHA, they have said they will act immediately on any problem I find. A few days ago I watched a guy checking a half kilometer length of fishing net, I said to the NHA that I could not see the point as there was nothing of any size in it, they said that they run the whistling duck in during the night.

1c: I need to survey the whole wetland area. It is most important to identify areas that need special protection. The wetland as a whole needs protecting from hunting, but as it's a large area there will be other interest which may conflict. There are a few sites that are fairy pristine and I hope to be able to keep such places safe from slash and burn.

1d: During the winter months often large concentrations of waders are to be found in the wetlands, it was here that I found 60 mist strung up, It take a great deal of time to find and deal with this problem. That line of 60 we could see with the aid of a telescope, so remotely placed were these nets that after a week we had to give up our attempt to find them.

1e: There is one other worrying problem and will take some thought and time. It is what I term as Blitzing. Blitzing is when you get a large group of people, that turn in a couple of pickups and take everything, mostly all the fish, I've seen mist nets up and traps. They blitz the whole area for maybe 3 days and then clear off somewhere else.

There is a need for some sort of common policy to protect fish stocks and local people, surely it makes sense to leave a percentage so fish stocks can increase. When these people have gone there is little remaining for anyone else. Seems selfish to me and of no benefit to local people and nothing for the birds to feed on.

1f: We Intend camping out in the more remote and interesting areas a good way to find out whets going on so in the dry season or dry periods and we would do this about one time a week.

There are I'm sure a lot ideas that need thinking about. However we need to make a start:



There are a number of objectives to cover, so I will try and set them out here.

  • A complete halt to netting and shooting of birds in the wetland area.
  • Get local people involved

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