Over the last 20 years Mae Wong National Park has become a haven for Thai wildlife including Asian elephant, green peafowl, gaur, and most crucially, tiger. Mae Wong borders the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the few places left on the planet that still supports a viable tiger population. For many years Mae Wong has acted as a buffer for Huai Kha Khaeng, but now its habitat has recovered to the point that recent camera trap surveys revealed the presence of at least 8 tigers that had moved into Mae Wong from Huai Kha Khaeng. This clearly indicates that the years of protection and more than 300 million baht that has been spent on Mae Wong has transformed it into a fully functional ecosystem again.
Unfortunately this wonderful victory for Thai conservation, for which all Thai people should feel very proud, is about to be turned on its head by the construction of a dam that will inundate all of the lowland forest of Mae Wong NP, and thereby submerge for ever the most wildlife rich part of the park. The proposed dam project will cost Thailand at least 13 billion baht at latest estimates, will do nothing to alleviate flooding in the country, and will merely provide irrigation water to a small area of farmland and enhance the reputations of a small number of politicians. These farms could much more effectively and cheaply be irrigated using smaller, local projects, or even by merely repairing the existing system of canals.
An estimated 500,000 trees will be cut down to make way for this dam. These trees and the wildlife they support, already act as a much more effective natural balance than a reservoir could.
Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife do not belong to a few local farmers or politicians. The current generation merely has the pleasure of enjoying them, but at the same time carries the responsibility of safeguarding them for future generations. Tigers are on the brink of extinction in the wild and they need all the help that people of good will can give.
Please stop this crazy dam project and help maintain valuable tiger habitat in Mae Wong National Park.
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