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KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK

THAILAND
LOCALE

Area (SqKm):739
Altitude (m):300-950
# Species*:226
# Excl Vagrants*:226
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:0
Species/100 SqKm*:30.6
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Tropical rainforest, bamboo, limestone forest, lake

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Khao Sok National Park is an undisturbed land of sandstone and mudstone rocks covered by tropical rainforest. An eroded limestone mountain range traverses the park from north to south. The park protects the largest expanse of remnant rainforest in south Thailand. Rainy season is late April to December, so best time to visit is January to mid April. The rainforest is older and more diverse than the Amazon Rainforest.

Birding in Khao Sok is mainly along two forest trails. Roadside birding is generally not very good. The trails offer good opportunities to see a variety of specialty birds. Since the park is under-visited by birders, surprises are quite possible. Khao Sok is the best place in Thailand to see the rare Lesser Fish-Eagle and Gray-headed Fish-Eagle. Sought after Blue-banded Kingfisher and Rufous-collared Kingfisher are readily found along the numerous rivers. Also likely with some effort is Chestnut-naped Forktail near water. The jeep track/wide trail is the best place to see these species along with Banded Pitta. The narrow trail leading to a waterfall goes through dense forest, making birding somewhat challenging. Possibilities include several species of babblers as well as Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher, the latter heard much more often than seen. Great Argus is often heard but difficult to see.

Khao Sok is also home to numerous mammals, though most are difficult to see. Possibilities include Asian Elephant, Stump-tailed Macaque, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Dusky Leaf-monkey (Langur), Lar Gibbon, Tiger, Sambar, Banteng, and others.

LOCATION OF SITE

Khao Sok National Park is located in south Thailand north and somewhat inland from Thai Muang and Phang Nga. It's a 4-hour drive north from Phuket.