Rare Wildlife Caught on Video in Thailand

January 23, 2015 Updated: May 26, 2017

Camera trap video from Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand has revealed an impressive array of wildlife, including scent-marking clouded leopards and a whole herd of Asian elephant. The camera traps were set by HabitatID, an organization devoted to using remote camera traps to prove to government officials and conservation groups that wildlife still flourishes in forgotten and underfunded places. The group has already had impressive results in Virachey National Park and has now expanded it’s work to Khlong Saeng. 


Compilation of videos from camera traps set by HabitatID in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary. 

“The results practically made my eyes pop out of my head,” said Greg McCann, co-founder of HabitatID and author of Called Away by a Mountain Spirit: Journeys to the Green Corridor. “A male clouded leopard showing up repeatedly to mark his territory right in front of our camera; a herd of Asian elephants passing by and stopping at the sound of the camera-trap, listening carefully while one of the herd probes the camera with its trunk; elusive Malayn tapirs inspecting our cameras; a secretive Asian golden cat patrolling the night trail; a water monitor attempting to destroy our camera (this actually happened with two different cameras); a rare Fea’s muntjac walking the trail. The list goes on, and the footage was obtained in just three months of shooting.” 

Much of the lowland rainforests of Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary were flooded in the 1980s due to the Rajaprabham Dam, leaving many forested islands across the man-made reservoir also known as Cheow Lan Lake. Still, many species have persisted as the videos prove, including at least five threatened species (see list below).  

“Our cameras are still rolling,” said McCann, who was aided by veteran wildlife photograher, Bruce Kekule, “and these early results prove that Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary, damaged though it was by the unfortunate construction of the Rajaprabham Dam in 1987, is still a national treasure for Thailand and for the world, and that further efforts are needed to protect the fascinating wildlife that remains.” 

For more on Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary: Unreal Thailand: stunning wildlife photographed in flooded Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary 

Animals highlighted on camera trap video

  • Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), Endangered 
  • Asian golden cats (Pardofelis temminckii), Near Threatened 
  • Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Vulnerable 
  • Fea’s muntjac (Muntiacus feae), Data Deficient
  • Great argus pheasant (Argusianus argus) , Near Threatened
  • Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), Endangered
  • Stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides) , Vulnerable
  • Sun bear (Ursus malayanus), Vulnerable 
  • Water monitor (Varanus salvator), Least Concern 
  • Wild pig (Sus scrofa), Least Concern

This article was written by Jeremy Hance, a contributing writer for news.mongabay.com. This article was republished with permission, original here.