SMART Patrol System in Kaeng Krachan National Park

In 2009, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Thailand Program, acting as the academic and research advisor for Kaeng Krachan National Park (KKNP) patrol rangers, used the Smart Patrol System to monitor technical information, necessary supplies and equipment, as well as individual patrol efficiency development through on-the-job trainings and closely collaborating in the field under KKNP. Since then, patrol routes, threats, wildlife sign, and other significant information found during patrols have been recorded and imported to the SMART database to the same standards as other protected areas.

In addition, the WCS Thailand Program has supported trainings held every year under “Strengthen the Law Enforcement System in Kaeng Krachan National Park” to enhance patrol ranger efficiency, which is divided into two courses: refresher training and basic Smart Patrol System training. In each course, 30 rangers were trained or refreshed their skills in topographic map reading, GPS & compass use, wildlife sign identification, patrol data recording, field patrol techniques, investigation, seizure, and weapon study.

At present, there are 8 teams of 70 patrol rangers taking care of 5 management zones throughout KKNP. On average, 1 ranger is responsible for 41 km2 in the park. The most appropriate effective patrol techniques used against the strong poaching problems in KKNP are foot patrols, vehicle patrols, air patrols, ambuscade, and water patrols.

KKNP patrols average 450 trips each year, covering 3,790 km2. The most intensive patrols are around the eastern and southern parts, which are associated with the distribution and density of human activities. Each year around 10 cases of poaching, 9 cases of illegal logging, and 13 cases of encroachment were recorded. However, foot patrols in the western part of KKNP face several obstacles due to the difficulty of the area, manpower limitation and conflicts along the border. Therefore, WCS Thailand Program is very willing to continue support for all patrol teams in order to strengthen law enforcement in order to better protect natural resources in KKNP.