Macaques successfully relocated from Phetchaburi to Phuket


In an effort to combat the increasing overpopulation of macaques, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said it has successfully relocated a number of the animals from Phetchaburi to Koh Payu Island in Phuket.

The pilot project, initiated five years ago, sought to mitigate human-monkey conflicts, while also promoting sustainable living conditions for the macaques. Other provinces, including Prachuap Khiri Khan, are now seriously considering adopting similar measures.

Dr Yuthapol Angkinan, Advisor to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), announced recently the success of various strategies aimed at addressing the growing monkey-related challenges in Phetchaburi Province.

These strategies included projects to restore habitats, manage the monkey population through sterilization (with nearly 4,000 animals sterilized), and ongoing efforts to monitor for dangerous diseases transmittable to humans. Happily, no dangerous pathogens have been found in the monkeys of Phetchaburi Province.

The relocation strategy to Koh Payu, Phuket Province, has allowed the macaques to flourish, living happily and healthily in mangrove forests without causing disruption to human settlements or harming the environment. Moreover, the macaques have shown to be effective in protecting the conservation areas.

This successful initiative has been the result of collaboration between various departments, including the Department of National Parks, the Department of Marine Resources, and the Forestry Department. An urgent solution to reduce the community impact, the project also underwent comprehensive public review, considering social aspects, conservation aspects, and community health conditions.

Mr. Warawut Silpa-archa, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, personally coordinated the investigation into suitable relocation areas, such as various islands in neighboring provinces, to house the troublesome macaques from Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan Provinces.

The relocation project serves as a promising model, providing an urgent and ecologically sustainable solution to the issue, without causing a dramatic alteration in the macaques’ behavior or a rise in violent conflicts between humans and macaques.

The news comes after Phetchaburi’s governor recently called for urgent action to solve what he says is a worsening problem regarding macaques.

Governor Namphoonsuk revealed that the macaque problem has escalated to a severe level and requires immediate attention.

The rapid increase in the macaque population has led to their encroachment into residential areas, causing distress and disturbances among the local community.

Incidents of property theft and confrontations over belongings, involving both children and women, have become more frequent.