The Magic of Don Chao Poo Forest, Phana

Don Chao Poo Forest, in Phana, Amnat Charoen Province, is regularly described as a ‘magical’ place. Residents of Phana who regard the forest as the home of the village’s guardian spirit, might not find this surprising.

The forest itself may seem magical:

Buddha Path      forest interiorforest trees      tall treetrees in forest

But the forest is more than trees:

mushrooms 2      mushrooms 3mushrooms in forest      termite mounds

And then there is the fauna, though sighting these is rare and requires time and patience:

ground squirrel 1      ground squirrel 2

ground-nesting squirrels are quite numerous but very shy

baby bird 1      baby bird 2Liz bird 1      Liz bird 2owl baby      owl in forest

Birds are heard, especially early in the morning and towards evening, but are rarely seen.

monitor on ground      monitor on treeskink 1      skink 2skink with orange tail      snake red-neck keelbacksnake walls bronzeback      tokay at shrine

Skinks and Monitor lizards  are the most frequently seen reptiles, snakes and tokay geckos the rarest.

Bees build elaborate hives high in the trees:

bee hive hanging      bee hive in branches

and there are thousands of butterflies … but I challenge you to get a better photo of one than this:

red butterfly

and how do you like these two?

frog in small pond      scorpion

As if all that forest life was not enough, the main attraction is undoubtedly the large tribe of long-tailed macaques which inhabit the forest. To a large extent they are dependent on human provisioning and so they are habituated to humans. They will steal bags from you – so don’t bring them into the forest – and the same goes for small items like cameras, mobile phones, sun glasses, that sort of thing, if you have them with you, hang on to them at all times. The monkeys are still fearful and defensive, so don’t try to touch them. Nevertheless, you can get close to them but closer than a metre or so makes them uncomfortable and they don’t like you running around and shouting or screaming.

Keeping these things in mind, you will surely enjoy observing their activities and their social behaviour. Here are some photos to whet your appetite for these fascinating creatures:

monkey ad m with corn & young    monkey alertmonkey in rain    monkey juv with root vegmonkey standing holding ball    monkey running with ballmonkey solitary thoughtful   mother and juvenile

monkey in rain    monkey with cloth in tree    monkeys huddling    monkeys on blue bike    monkey twins & friend

A big thank you to all the volunteers whose photos appear here. They enjoyed their time in the forest, and you can see how productive it was in the photographic sense!

About isantraveller

I have been in and around North-East Thailand for more years than I can recall. I now live here permanently. I have travelled in 32 countries on 3 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) so I am a bit of a traveller.
This entry was posted in Bees, Bio-diversity, Butterflies, lizards & skinks, Long-tailed Macaques, Monitor lizards, monkey forest, Snakes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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