Tapi River and Nong Tung Tong Non-Hunting Area
Location:
8°44'-8°54'N, 99°12'-99°16'E; 35 km SSW of Surat Thani, Khian Sa District, Surat Thani Province.
Area:
6,450 ha.
Altitude:
20-30m.
Biogeographical Province:
4.5.1./4.7.1.
Wetland type:
11, 13, 18 & 19.
Description of site:
A complex of swamps and grasslands along the Tapi River. The main swamp, Nong Tung Tong, lies on the east bank while another, Nong Tung Ka, lies on the west bank. The principal inflow is from the catchment of the Tapi River. The swamps are almost entirely flooded during the late southwest monsoon and during the northeast monsoon (October to December); by the end of the dry season, the swampy areas are very much restricted. The depth of water is usually 1-4m, with a maximum of 6-7m in the Tapi River; the swamp may be reduced to 25 cm in depth by March. The pH is 5.5-6.5.
Climatic conditions:
Tropical monsoonal climate with an average annual rainfall of 1,755.3 mm. The monthly rainfall reaches a peak in November (average 346 mm), and the driest months are February (13.2 mm) and March (21.9 mm). The relative humidity varies from 76.0% in March to 88.0% in November. The mean annual temperature is 26.3°C (range 22.2-32.1°C).
Principal vegetation:
Emergent aquatic plants include Phragmites communis, Arundo donax, Eleocharis dulcis and Oryza lazifolia. The banks of the river are wooded and include such species as Lagerstroemia speciosa. Plant communities in adjacent areas are categorized as lowland evergreen scrub forest by Storer (1978). Tree species include Shorea roxburghi, Cyrtococcum patens, Parameria laevigala, Hydrocarpus antheitnintica, Hymenocardia punctata and Xanthophyllum lenceatum. Other habitats include rice fields, "lallang" meadows, wet meadows and rubber plantations.
Land tenure:
The wetland is state owned and open to public use; surrounding areas are mainly in private ownership. Some areas are, however, occupied illegally and are still nominally state owned.
Conservation measures taken:
An area of 2,960 ha was declared as the Nong Tung Tong Non-Hunting Area in 1975.
Conservation measures proposed:
It is proposed to enlarge the existing Non-Hunting Area to approximately 6,450 ha, in order to encompass other nearby swampy areas.
Land use:
Fishing and cattle grazing; rice farming and rubber plantations in surrounding areas.
Possible changes in land use:
There is a prospect of an increased level of tourism at the site.
Disturbances and threats: There is a gradual intensification of agriculture along the Tapi River, which is reducing the value of these areas for wildlife. Fire is used routinely by villagers and has severely damaged grasslands at the site. Illegal hunting of birds poses a less serious threat.
Economic and social values: The fishery and opportunities for grazing cattle make a contribution to the local economy. The water bodies serve as a source of fresh water for irrigation of rice fields in the dry months of January, February and March.
Fauna: At least 13 species of fish are known from the site: Anabas testudineus, Fluta alba, Ophiocephalus striatus, O. gachua, Trichogaster trichopterus, T. pectoralis, Claris batrachus, Trichopsis viltatus, Heteropneustes fossilis, Rasbora argyrotaenia, Mystus nemurus, Notopterus notopterus and Ornpok bimaculatus.

Both Dendrocygna javanica and Nettapus coromandelianus breed. Most other waterfowl (e.g. Ardea purpurea, A. cinerea, Egretta spp and Gallicrex cinerea) occur as winter visitors. Leptoptilos javanicus is an occasional visitor. Storer (1978) lists 105 species of birds, including such woodland species as White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis, a bird of lowland forest now endangered in Peninsular Thailand, and the scarce and local Pycnonotus zeylanicus.

Storer (1978) also lists 20 species of mammals, 11 species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians. The mammals include Macaca fascicularis, Aonyx cinerea, Viverra megaspila, Felis temminckii and Sus scrofa. The reptiles are Python bimaculatus, Natrix piscator, Chrysopelea ornata, Naja naja, Trimeresurus albolabrus, Bungarus fasciatus, Platyurus platyurus, Gecko gecko, Calotes versicolor, Varanus sp and Malaymys subtrijuga; the amphibians are Bufo melanostictus, Ooedozygna lima, Rana cancrivora, R. limnocharis, R. hascheana, R. macrodactyla, Kaloula pulchra and Microhyla heymonsi.
Special floral values: None known.
Research and facilities: Accommodation is available in the Non-Hunting Area.
References: Storer (1978).
Criteria for inclusion: 1b. 2b, 3b.
Source:
Jira Jintanugool and Philip D. Round.