Ao Phang-Nga National Park - Thailand's most famous marine protected area
|Year of Declaration:||2003|
|Area and Location:||
Located in Phang-nga province, Ao Phang-Nga National Park covers 40,000 hectares; Mu Ko Surin National Park covers approximately 14,125 hectares; while Mu Ko Similan National Park covers an area of 14,000 hectares.
Mu Ko Surin is popular for its shallow reef; Mu Ko Similan, for scuba diving; and Ao Phang-nga, for its mangrove ecosystem and karst topography.
Ao Phang-Nga-Mu Ko Surin-Mu Ko Similan National Park encompasses coastal mangrove forests and a series of karst limestone hills flooded by the sea to form some 42 sheer islands with high cliffs, rock overhangs and formations caves, coral gardens, and some scrub. The Park has the features of typical small island environments with few water reserves. Terrestrial vegetation is mainly beach forest, which steadily becomes tropical forest further inland.
Typical tree species include dipterocarps, several species of rattan, and mangrove species such as Rhizophora apiculata and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza.
The islands support rich avifauna including the white-bellied sea eagle, Brahminy kite, terns, hornbills, drongo, babblers, sunbirds andfl ower peckers. Mu Ko Surin is just about the only place in Thailand where the beach thick-knee (Esacus giganteus) can be found.This rich marine life includes many species of fish, whales and whale sharks, and hawksbill, Olive Ridley and green sea turtles. Another interesting species located in Similan is the hairy leg mountain land crab, which is found in such large numbers.
|Ecotourism Destination and Activities:||
Visitors can visit the various islands in the park and enjoy the beaches. Popular activities include canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
|Biological Richness:||• 17 species of mammal
• 88 species of birds
• 18 species of reptiles
• 3 species of amphibians
• 24 species of fish
• 14 species of shrimp
• 15 species of crab
• 16 species of manta ray and shark
• 91 species of birds
• 22 species of mammals
• 12 species of bats
• 6 species of reptiles
• 31 species of small mammals
• 16 species of bats
• 3 species of squirrels
• 4 species of rats
• 36 species of reptiles and amphibians
• 73 species of birds