Khao yai park is home for 112 species of mammals, 392 species of birds and 200 reptiles and amphibians. It is internationally important for the conservation of globally threatened and endangered mammal, bird and reptile species, among them 19 that are vulnerable, four that are endangered, and one that is critically endangered. The area contains substantial and important tropical forest ecosystems, which can provide a viable habitat for the long-term survival of these species.
Grasslands areas of the park are covered in elephant and lalang grasses, which provide opportunities to observe sambar and barking deer. There are also civets, pig-tailed macaques, the vulnerable Pileated Gibbon, white-handed gibbons, shrews, bats, Asiatic black bears, wild dogs, fishing cats, hog badgers, binturong, Malayan sun bears, slow loris, mouse deer, gaur, serow, giant black squirrels, giant porcupines, hares, reticulated pythons, Siamese cobras, green tree vipers, monitor lizards, skinks, flying Draco lizards, clouded leopards, regular run-of-the-mill leopards, marbled cats and apparently even tigers, and one of Thailand’s largest herds of wild elephants roams the jungle and crosses its roads.
In the park guides can help visitors in sighting animals, animal watching with parks staff at night is also possible.
Animal Observing Tower
Observing Tower is a place for travelers hiding themselves for observing animals. There are two towers enable from 06.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m. as follows
Nong Phug She Tower Locating near Nong Phug Shee pond which is the source of water for many kinds of animal, and walking about one kilometer from Km. 35-36 Thanarat Road, Nong Phug She Tower has vastly cogon grass field and salt lick for animal.
Mo Sing To Tower Locating near Mo Sing To pond which is the source of water for many kinds of animal, opposite reservoir up the hill from the headquarters and restaurants between 500 metre.
Khao Yai is one of the best birding places. You can found over 390 species of resident and migratory birds, including: the endangered Spot-billed Pelican and critically endangered Greater Adjutant. Great and Wreathed hornbills, Barbets, Scarlet Minivet, Trogons, Broadbills, Pitas, Pigeons, Mountain scops-Owl, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Collared Owlet, Blue-winged leaf bird, Asian Fairy bluebird, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Green Magpie, 3 species of laughing thrush and many types of Bulbuls. In Khao Yai there is also Silver Pheasants, Scaly breasted Partridges, Red Junglefowl and Siamese Fierback. Near the rivers and ponds we may find White-throated Kingfisher, Prinia, Zitting cisticola and many more.
You can found many of those around the park headquarters. Bird watching can also be done on the sides of the road and around the old golf course. Head out for Trail # 2 toward Khao Khiew mountain, where you will find evergreen forest above 1,000 m.
Observation towers at Nong Pak Chee or Mo Sing. Early morning is the best time to view the Great Hornbills, guar, and sometimes elephants. Gibbons are most active in the early morning.
At about 5:30 at night thousands of wrinkled lipped bats emerge from a cave 3 km outside the northern gate to begin night time feeding. The bats fly in a ribbon pattern across the sky.
Patience is needed,good binoculars and a bird guide help is best.
(source Department of national parks)
Check fantastic pics of Khao Yai wildlife in Khao Yai news.com, a great website about wildlife photography by a group of nature lovers and wildlife photographers.