TH056
Thale Noi


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
The site comprises Thale Noi Non-hunting Area. The site is centred on a freshwater lagoon, 22 km inland from the east coast of peninsular Thailand and about 1 km north of the main body of Songkhla lake. Approximately 2,800 ha of the lagoon is open water, which is surrounded to the west, south and east by c.10,870 ha of swamps and sedge beds and c.6,640 ha of rice paddies, and to the north by c.4,220 ha of Melaleuca forest. The rest of the site comprises swampy grasslands and small areas of degraded evergreen forest on limestone. Kuan Ki Sian, a knoll within Thale Noi Non-hunting Area covering 495 ha, was designated as Thailand's first Ramsar Site in 1998.

Key biodiversity
The site regularly supports greater than 20,000 congregatory waterbirds, including more than 1% of the Asian biogeographic populations of Purple Heron Ardea purpurea and Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger. In addition, four globally threatened species (Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri, Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata, Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus) and three globally near-threatened species (Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus and Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala) have been recorded at the site, although none have been confirmed to regularly occur in significant numbers.

Non-bird biodiversity: Amphibians Supachai's Caecilian Ichthyophis supachaii (VU)



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats to biodiversity at the site are irrigation and development schemes, land speculation, pollution (from waste disposal and agrochemicals), uncontrolled livestock grazing, over-fishing, habitat encroachment and hunting (including egg collection).

Habitat and land use
The site comprises Thale Noi Non-hunting Area. The site is centred on a freshwater lagoon, 22 km inland from the east coast of peninsular Thailand and about 1 km north of the main body of Songkhla lake. Approximately 2,800 ha of the lagoon is open water, which is surrounded to the west, south and east by c.10,870 ha of swamps and sedge beds and c.6,640 ha of rice paddies, and to the north by c.4,220 ha of Melaleuca forest. The rest of the site comprises swampy grasslands and small areas of degraded evergreen forest on limestone. Kuan Ki Sian, a knoll within Thale Noi Non-hunting Area covering 495 ha, was designated as Thailand's first Ramsar Site in 1998.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Thale Noi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/01/2021.