Created in 1965, the 898 km2 Salakpra is Thailand’s first wildlife sanctuary. Its notable value at that time was its assemblage of large mammals, including tigers, barely 150 kilometers from Bangkok. In 1980, the Srinakarin Hydroelectric dam was built on the River Kwai, severing Salakpra from the Erawan National Park and inundating the central portion of southern WEF COM. This severely diminished the ability of tigers to utilize Salakpra. However, Salakpra remains connected to Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. Huai Kha Khaeng, a priority tiger area, retains the largest breeding population of tigers in Southeast Asia and is considered a Panthera core population. The tiger population in Huai Kha Khaeng is stable and relatively well protected with abundant prey. Huai Kha Khaeng is connected to Salakpra through the Srisawat reserved forest corridor. Recently, this vital corridor area has been granted protected area status by the government of Thailand.
Protection of this corridor will help to ensure that Salakpra remains viable tiger habitat. Adequate protection of this corridor will allow tigers from Huai Kha Khaeng to disperse south, ensuring the rapid recovery of tigers in Salakpra and other protected areas in Southern WEF COM . Panthera partnered with ZSL -Thailand beginning in 2013 to monitor tigers and their prey in Salakpra. Future collaborations will include the strengthening of law enforcement efforts and the expansion of monitoring activities in Salakpra, the newly protected corridor and adjacent protected areas.
Tigers Forever is currently being carried out in this country and five others: