Achievements - 7 years on and what have we achieved. First of all I have to say that the area I look for out "now" for is reduced as I don't have the time or resources to cover the whole area.
The greatest achievement really has been the support and respect we have gained with the local people and communities in Yonok and we are very proud of that and has made our task easier.
All Hunting - Shooting and Trapping of Birds has stopped completely and for several years now. Very occasionally I find Nets set in perimeter areas and I take them out myself.
Birds: All water birds are on the increase - Swamp hens up from near 0 - 350 or more, Whistling Duck rarely seen resting in Yonok are now in 1000's - Spot-billed Duck is also increasing in small numbers and breeding.
A small increase Bronzed-wing Jacana and both White-browed Crake, Moorhen are doing well. Black Bittern also up in numbers.
Wat Bamak No - Harrier Roost remains a success and a tribute to Dowroong and all that care for Our Roosts.
Future - One never knows and we are always available to those that wish our help and advice. But we seek only those who are genuine.
The future of Humanity for many - I believe - lies in self supporting communities. No Power on Earth wants that. as it would mean freedom and happiness to all that seek it.
Yonok Wetlands Project is a “hands on public responsibility project” – We remind and persuade people who work in Conservation Groups, Public Organization and Local Government of their responsibility to their chosen field. This has been most effective in protecting Yonok Wetlands and other important areas of conservation in the Chiang Saen Basin. Please see the Yonok wetlands website for full details.
The Prime objective here is to conserve the three major wetland roosting sites for; Pied Harrier and Eastern Marsh Harrier, these are the largest known roosts in the world for those species. Located at Wat Bamak No, Nong Lom and Little England. All of these sites are under threat and have been so far protected through the effort of Yonok Wetlands Project. Also of prime conservation need and within the Chiang Saen basin are the following sites of International importance to Thailand and World Nature Conservation.
Please Read on:
Dowroong's Woman Conservation group has attracted around a hundred new members. All are strongly in favor of conserving Yonok and have stopped the selling of wild birds for the table in the village Huai Nam Rak. A open day event will be held in Wat pa Mak No in the near future.
Your help is required. We cannot succeed alone.
A Day at the office:
Dowroong YWP & Kritsana Kaewplang BCST.
Thanks also for the support of Dave Gandy andJohn Roberts.
Dr Mongs Team from the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand - BCST; with Joanne and Nigel from the Royal Society for Protection of Birds UK - RSPB; come to Yonok to meet with Dowroong and Mick to discuss how we can best manage Yonok's Future. The talks have been highly successful. Joanne and Nigel are part of the RSPB wetland management team and we are very grateful for there positive help and advice.
Once again John Roberts comes up "Trumps" for the Yonok villages children.
JUMBO DAY TRIP
A Day at the Anantara Hotel - Elephant Camp for the Children of Tong Far Ham - Wat Yonok
This event was staged by John Robert and The Staff of tha Anantara Hotel - Golden Triangle
This Sign was Painted and Designed by Teenagers of Wat Pa Mak No.
Trapping and Mist Nets: The Final Nets removed today.
The final mist nets were removed this morning by Suriya and his team. This brings the total of nets removed from the Chiang Sean area to 80 and involved 10 sites. Nets have also been removed by us over the previous year from 4 other sites, resulting in only one repeat offense and that site is now safe in the hands of the Temple.
Photographs: 1 Dowroong and Suriya, 2 Net 3 Catapult / net, 4 dead weaver and remains of a wader (as Dowroong explains in ourGrass Owl article) they just ripped off the inedible parts on site. 5 Nong Bong Kai NHA staff.
Mr Surya takes his job seriously and has obtain the book that clarifies the Law on Netting: The Law clearly states that is illegal to set nets in order to catch birds. There is no other reason for setting nets other than the catching of birds and so Suriya will be dealing with any offenders he finds. Following the removal of the nets, Mr Suriya has a polite word with the village head man and hopefully there will be no reoccurrences.
Yonok Wetland Project
In just a little over four months we have a dream of a start:
Use Link for Full Version - Highlights scroll down
Our original idea was to stop the hunting and trapping of Birds and Animals in the Yonok: With the help of Pra Ajan Sane and the full co-operation of Suriya, we have not only stopped most of the hunting and trapping in the Yonok but also have widened the area to a radius of forty kilometers of Chiang Saen.
How did we achieve this: First and foremost it was an idea I had some five years ago. I had noticed that some of the Buddhist Temples had persevered the Forest in and around the Temples. The Abbots and Monks had also placed signs, asking not to Damage the Trees and Wildlife.
I wondered if it would be possible to join in friendship to bring Buddhists and like mined people together to save what remains of our World in Thailand and the saving of Habitats, allowing, Birds and Animals to live in harmony with Man.
After all this was the teaching a great man Buddha: His words were so true that his stories and code for life has lasted for more than two thousand years. Buddha preached a Harmony between People, friends, neighbors and all Creatures that live in they're world.
When I enter many Buddhist Temples the one thing I notice are paintings of Buddha and his followers sitting in a Forest clearing, where Birds and Animals have NO FEAR.
Through Dowroong's love of Buddha and concern for her countries people and nature she has found it easy to speak with Abbots and Monks, as well as people in position to effect a change in attitudes. For myself I give my full support to her by advising and attending meetings.
Yonok - A chance meeting.
We started the Yonok Wetland Project on the afternoon of 28th of may 2007. It was just a chance meeting with a young fisherman who asked Dowroong if she minded if he did some fishing! Well why ask us, were just standing here looking at a River Tern. Well he says the village Head Man says we should not harm the Birds in the wetland.
I realized we had a chance here; to stop the killing that has decimated the wildlife of Thailand over the last few decades. Within half and hour I had worked out the idea for a project for the Yonok.
In the northern part of the Yonok there were situated two Temples: Wat Yonok and Ba Mak No. We had visited these temples and recently met with the Abbot of Wat Yonok, Wat Ba Mak No, has been a favorite Temple of ours for a long time and so we approached the two Abbots to see if they liked our ideas.
They seemed interested and suggested we taught the local children some english in the Temples and so it was agreed we would do that at weekends. We talked about the need to protect the birds and wetland and how we hope to achieve this.
It was here at Ba Mak No, that I first met Pra Ajan Sane, he told us that he had battled for conservation in the east of Thailand and had fought for Democracy in Bangkok. He then became a Monk in order to reflect on his life and live for the future with guidance through Buddha.
Pra Ajan Sane explained that people had tried in the Yonok before but didn't really show any commitment. So maybe they were testing us out as events started slowly:; However the pace soon quickened.
We got on with the Job
Teaching in the Temples, talking to local people about they're needs, they wanted tourists to come to they're village and home stay and help with ideas for mutual benefit. I also had to write up this project, that in it self has taken a vast amount of time, and now I'm working hard on our Yonok Project Web Site. We also have to spend time in the Yonok: birding, identifying problem areas and try to meet with as many people as possible.
It's all GO
In just six weeks we had a firm base and a lot of success, we had won the respect and trust of Abbots and Monks and many local people. Our teaching classes were highly successful and we had some help. Candice Fiztsimonds helped out with the teaching on a number of weekends and had a lot of fun with the kids. Several Thais were very helpful: Mr May has taken the kids birding, donated 200 books. Dr Mong also came along to see our kids and donated to the no hunting signs. Quite a few monks attend and one has a walk of 6klm to see us.
Others away from Chiang Saen have supported us greatly: in particular John Roberts, Nick Upton and Phil Round. But in truth our lucky break came from High Abbot Khru Ba Boun Chum, He told us he had a recurring dream that he had to acquire the area now named Wat Viang Cum and to award the position of Abbot to Pra Ajan Sane.
Wat Viang Cum is sited in woodland and opposite Wat Ba Mak No: between these two Temples lies a most beautiful Harrier roost, sometimes containing more than 200 birds, it is also a roost of grass Owls a new species breeding in Thailand. So Yonok is an important wetland, at the last series of counts it probably has the largest number harriers Roosting in Thailand.
Today this project has being running for just a little over 4 months. I could have never dreamt how much one can achieve in such a short time.
The reason for this project was that I was so sick of seeing problems where ever I went, mostly mist nets and guns. Our breeding discovery of Grass Owls led us to find two of the Owls dead. When a hunter suddenly appeared close to the River Tern, well could have been our last days in Thailand.
Mick Davies and Dowroong Danlamajak.
Mick, Dr Mong, Andy Pearce, Phil Round. - Pra Ajan Sane, Monks and Children of Wat Ba MAk NO.
Nok in Thai means bird and this area was formally full of birds, similar to what Ben King said of Bangkok in the fifties, the skies were darkened with the number of birds. The Latter Years have been a disaster, It's about time to do something about it.
That's probably not achievable now, however we can do a lot by looking after the Yonok: it is a vast area: containing, two Grass Owl roosts and three Harrier roosts with a peak total of 360 Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers roosting.
I am confident that between us we can change attitudes to hunting here.
This project is initially aimed at the smaller Northern Sector: as it is more easily managed.
We hope to start the much larger Southern Sector very soon.
As the Project goes along we will provide regular updates.
Please Note: you will see that I have included all updates up till now in that section.
I have had the idea for some time now of uniting Temples that have an interest in protecting our world. Many Thai Temples are headed by monks that care greatly for the areas in there custody.
Please help us to do so: Full details are contained within this Web Site.
Hope for Future
Sponsor - Yonok Wetlands (Company or Public sponsorship): We are in urgent need of public or company sponsorship. Yonok Wetlands Project has been amazingly successful in our first two years Please Help Us to continue: Sponsor Yonok _ Details
All the documents contained on this web site are written by; Mick Davies
If you are Thai Please contact Dowroong as I don't speak Thai.
We are a partnership - A Simple view
Dowroong handles all conservation meetings.
I advise and support on all conservation issues and so Jointly its all a mixture of our ideas.
Bird and Site recording is what I do.
All rights reserved. © 2007 Yonok Wetlands Project - Mick Davies & Dowroong Danlammajak.