Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries

Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries

Stretching over more than 600,000 ha along the Myanmar border, the sanctuaries, which are relatively intact, contain examples of almost all the forest types of continental South-East Asia. They are home to a very diverse array of animals, including 77% of the large mammals (especially elephants and tigers), 50% of the large birds and 33% of the land vertebrates to be found in this region.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Sanctuaires de faune de Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng

S'étendant sur plus de 600 000 ha en bordure de la frontière avec le Myanmar, les sanctuaires, demeurés en grande partie intacts, contiennent presque toutes les formations forestières de l'Asie du Sud-Est continentale. Ils abritent un ensemble d'espèces animales très divers, dont 77 % des grands mammifères (notamment éléphants et tigres), 50 % des grands oiseaux et 33 % des vertébrés terrestres que l'on trouve dans cette région.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

محميات حيوانات ثونغ ياي – هواي كا كانغ

تمتد هذه المحميات على اكثر من 600000 هكتار على الحدود مع ميانمار وهي لا تزال سليمة بجزئها الأكبر وتتضمن تقريباً مجمل التشكلات الحرجية في جنوب شرق آسيا القارية، الى جانب مجموعة متنوعة من الحيوانات منها 77% من الثدييات الكبيرة (ولا سيما الفيلة والنمور) و50% من الطيور الكبيرة و33% من الفقاريات البرية التي نجدها في هذه المنطقة.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0



source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Резерваты дикой природы Тхунгъяй и Хуайкхакхэнг

Резерваты дикой природы занимают нетронутую территорию вдоль границы с Мьянмой площадью свыше 600 тыс. га. Эти резерваты представляют почти все типы леса, характерные для континентальной части Юго-Восточной Азии. Здесь обитают самые разнообразные животные, включая 77% видового состава крупных млекопитающих этого региона (в первую очередь – это слоны и тигры), 50 % – крупных птиц, и 33 % – наземных позвоночных.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Santuarios de fauna de Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng

Situados en la región fronteriza con Myanmar, estos santuarios relativamente intactos abarcan más de 600.000 hectáreas y poseen casi todos los tipos de bosque que se dan el Asia Sudoriental continental. Albergan una gama de especies animales muy diversa que comprende el 77 % de los grandes mamíferos (elefantes y tigres), el 50 % de las aves de gran tamaño y el 33 % de los vertebrados terrestres de la región.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Wildreservaten Thungyai en Huai Kha Khaeng

Dit gebied bestaat uit twee aan elkaar grenzende wildreservaten: Thung Yai en Huai Kha Khaeng. De reservaten liggen naast de westelijke internationale grens met Myanmar, 300 kilometer ten noordwesten van Bangkok en het gebied omvat meer dan 600.000 hectare. De reservaten, die relatief intact zijn bevatten bijna alle bossoorten van Zuidoost Azië. De bossen zijn de thuisbasis voor een zeer divers scala aan dieren waaronder grote zoogdieren (met name olifanten en tijgers), grote vogels en gewervelde landdieren. Dit is bijzonder omdat weinig gebieden in Azië groot genoeg zijn voor levensvatbare populaties olifanten en roofdieren.

Source: unesco.nl

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary World Heritage property lies in Uthai Thani, Tak, and Kanchanaburi provinces in the west of Thailand, alongside the border with Myanmar. The property combines two contiguous sanctuaries, Thung Yai Naresuan and Huai Kha Khang, separately established as sanctuaries in 1972 and 1974, respectively. Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses two important river systems, the Upper Khwae Yai and the Huai Khakhaeng. The property, encompassing 622,200 hectares, is the largest conservation area in Mainland Southeast Asia and is one of Thailand’s least accessible and least disturbed forest areas.

The flora and fauna of the sanctuaries include associations found nowhere else, with many species of exclusively Sino-Himalayan, Sundaic, Indo-Burmese, and Indo-Chinese affinities, intermingling within the property. Many of these are rare, endangered, or endemic. The sanctuary’s importance as a conservation area lies in the heterogeneity and integrity of its habitats, the diversity of its flora and fauna, and the complexity of its ecosystem. The property contains exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance with steep sided valleys and impressive mountain peaks interspersed with small lowland plains. The scenic beauty of the property is exceptional, enhanced by the sight of a host of tributary streams and waterfalls, the unique mosaic of forest types and the sweeping spectacles of variations of colour, form, and foliage.

Criterion (vii): Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary contains biological features of outstanding natural beauty and of great scientific value, including many natural features and two major watersheds with their associated riverine forests. Straddling the Shan – Thai folded mountains and its three distinct landforms, the property contains ridges that run parallel from north to south, rising to heights well over 1,500 meters. The tallest peak, Thung Yai, reaches 1,830 meters above sea level while the numerous valley bottoms within the sanctuary slope from 400 to 250 meters above sea level, creating stunning landscapes and encompassing superlative forest habitats.

Criterion (ix): Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary represents an outstanding and unique biome in mainland Southeast Asia, combining Sino-Himalayan, Sundaic, Indo-Burmese, and Indo-Chinese biogeography elements, with the flora and fauna characteristics of all four zones. The property encompasses significant ecological and biological processes, including habitats and biological features such as limestone habitats, mineral-licks, wetlands, and sink-holes. The savanna forest of Thung Yai is the most complete and secure example of Southeast Asia’s dry tropical forest.


Criterion (x): Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary has exceptional species and habitat diversity. The property supports many wild plant and animal relatives of domestic species, with many reaching the limits of their distributions in the sanctuary. Species lists have been compiled, which include 120 mammals, 400 birds, 96 reptiles, 43 amphibians, and 113 freshwater fish. In addition to many regional endemic species and some 28 internationally threatened species, at least one-third of all mainland Southeast Asia’s known mammals are represented within the boundaries of the property, providing the major stronghold for the long-term survival of many species. 


Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary covers 622,200 hectares and incorporates two intact river systems whose watersheds are largely encompassed by the properties boundaries. Both banks of the rivers are well protected – a rare sight to find in Asia. The size of the property adequately ensures complete representations of habitats and ecological processes and the total area protected is larger than any other legally protected, single forest conservation area in mainland Southeast Asia.

The property incorporates near pristine examples of most of the principal inland forest formations found in continental Southeast Asia, including the dry tropical forest ecosystem, which is more critically endangered than the region’s equatorial rain forest. The continued existence of many species that are vulnerable to human threats is tangible testament to the integrity of the property. However, impacts from development pressures, dam and mining projects, which facilitate access to the property and illegal poaching, continue to impact the property. Legislation and management measures are in place to address these impacts.

Protection and management requirements

The Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act B.E.2535 (1992), enforced by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), provides the strongest legal framework for the protection of the property. The property combines two contiguous sanctuaries, Thung Yai Naresuan and Huai Kha Khang, separately established as wildlife sanctuaries in 1972 and 1974, respectively. Adjacent to a number of other protected areas, the property’s location provides additional protection.

Management and protection activities are carried out under the framework of the National Wildlife Conservation Master Plan, the management plan for the property, and an on-going living landscape programme that has developed active management approaches to address conservation challenges. The Thai Government allocates an annual budget for managing the property, along with permanent staff, equipment, and support to several research programmes in the area.

The legal basis for the protection of the property is adequate and DNP is responsible for management of both component areas of the property. The size and topography of the area have led to a good system of guard stations, despite constraints on sufficiently trained staff and equipment.

Maintaining long-term conservation of wildlife and keeping the ecosystems in Thung Yai – Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary intact and healthy greatly depends on the quality of management. The Thai government is committed to on-going investment in enhancing protection of the property. Public support and increased investments in the management of the property have increased management capabilities.

Poaching remains one of the biggest threats to the values of the property and continues to be a problem, while deforestation in some parts of the buffer zone also remains an issue. The managing agency has introduced measures of positive management including an extensive system of guard stations and patrols. There are regular meetings between the wildlife sanctuary staff and local village chiefs to discuss conservation issues, and many nearby residents are employed as support staff.

Conservation awareness activities have been initiated, and a research facility has also been set up. Continued development pressures in the area, including agricultural development, dam projects and mining to the east and south of the property involving road construction, facilitate access to the property and enable poaching to continue.