Wildlife of Angthong National Marine Park
On the larger islands with areas of undisturbed forest many species of animals are present. Occasionally seen are Spectacled langurs, Hairy-nosed otters, bats, Pacific reef-egret, Brahminy kite, White-bellied sea eagle, Common sandpiper, Edible nest Swiflet, Oriental pied hornbill, Southern pied hornbill, Ashy Drongo, Collared Kingfisher, Monitor lizards, Tortoises, Sea Turtles and Pythons.
The coral development on the islands is not extensive and is restricted to a narrow band encircling each island close to the shore, especially on the southwestern and northeastern sides. Although the northwestern side of the islands is the area most influenced by the monsoon, in sheltered spots some good corals develop. These include elephant’s tusk coral, brain coral, staghorn coral and in deeper water, plate corals of the genus Pavona, and flower corals of the genus Goniopora.
Animals found inhabiting these reefs include; Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Parrotfish, Stingray, Black tip shark, Grouper and Cowrie shells. In areas where the water is not so clear or is subjected to strong currents the species diversity is poor and is dominated by Seaworms, Crabs and brown seaweeds, of the genus Sargassum and Turbinaria. In places with steep rocky shorelines or where the water is very turbid, coral cannot survive. In these areas sedentary marine life is prevalent including; Sea fans, Oysters, Clams and Mussels, which can be seen covering the exposed rock surfaces.
The surrounding seas are a major spawning ground for the short-bodied mackerel which are a popular Thai meal. Mackerel, anchovy and squid are all caught commercially in the area. For more information see our: Angthong Marine Park dive sites.
Vegetation of Angthong National Marine Park
The islands of the park are covered in forest, of which there are 4 types:
- Dry Evergreen Forest, which occurs on the larger islands with significant patches on Wua Ta Lap, Phaluai and Sam Sao. The principle tree species are; Memecylon sp., Barringtonia fusiformis, Semecarpus curtisii, Cinna- momum sp., Caryota spp., Calamus spp. and Paphio- pedilum niveum ‘Ang Thong’ Pfitz.
- Beach Forest, which occurs in a narrow strip around most of the larger islands, especially in the area above high water mark on beaches. Species occurring include; Terrminalia catappa, Thespesia populnea, Carophyllum inophyllum, Scaevola taccada, Erythrina fusea, Pandanus monotheca and Crinum sp.
- Limestone forest, which occurs on the exposed cliff faces and in the very shallow soils on top of the limestone hills. Most of the plants found here are small and highly adapted to survive in the severe environment. Species recorded include; Dracaena loureiri, Euphorbia antiquorum and Morinda sp.
- Mangrove forest, which occurs in the very sheltered spots where sandbars and mudflats have developed. This forest type is best represented around Mae Koh Island and on the eastern side of Phaluai Island. The dominant species is Rhizophora apiculata.