Thursday, May 8, 2008

Doi Khun Tan National Park

General Information Located in the mountain of the northern Thailand, Doi Khun Tan National Park is home to many interesting species both flora and fauna, as well as many historical spots of interest. Its most renowned feature is Thailands longest railroad tunnel, which is 1,352 m. long. Doi Khun Tan National Park straddles the mountains separating Lamphun and Lampang Provinces, covering 255.29 and ranges in elevations from 325m to 1,373m at the summit. Established in 1975, it was the 10th National Park in Thailand.

Topography Doi translates to mountain in Northern Thai, while Khun Tan refers to the numerous streams and watershed flowing down from the mountain. Climate The three basic seasons are summer, from March to June, rainy, from July to October, and winter, from November to February. The temperature varies from 38 degree celsius during the hot season, to as cold as 5 degree celsuis. Rainfall, which falls mostly during the rainy season, averages about 1,034 mm. per year. Flora and Fauna The forests of Doi Khun Tan have changed dramatically in the past century due to human disturbance. The forests can be divided into three types, with distinct elevational ranges.
Lowland elevations (325-850 meter). Originally a teak forest, the lowland elevation is composed of a degraded mixed bamboo deciduous forest as deciduous Dipterocarp- oak forest.
Middle elevations (850-1,000 meter). This is a transitional area where the lowland deciduous forest and upland evergreen- pine forest mix to from the mixed evergreen and deciduous forest. Here are only two species of pine trees in Thailand, a two needle pine (Pinus merkusii) and three-needle pine (P. kersiya) both of which can be found here.
Upland Elevations (1,000-1,373 meter). The forest here is composed mostly of evergreen hardwood trees and a minority of pine (Pinus merkusii) to from an evergreen- pine forest . Much of the forest and watershed on the west side of the national park have been distrubed; however, pristine conditions are found on the east side
In addition, Doi Khun Tan offers year-round viewing of wild-flowers such as orchids, and gingers. Doi Khun Tan is botanically very diverse, home to over 1,300 different vascular species. Numerous edible and fungi fond in the park.
Some wildlife still exists in Doi Khun Tan, including the Siamese hare, porcupine, wild chicken, wild boar and weasel, as a variety of birds, reptiles, spiders and insects. The effects of hunting, logging, frequent fires and human encroachment have greatly reduced their numbers. In the past, gibbons, tiger, elephants, bears, wild cattle, serow, slow loris, barking deer and many other species were also residents of Doi Khun Tan, but they are all gone.
Doi Khun Tan National Park by wichit songserm

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