science education resource

Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities

To view these resources with no ads, please Login or Subscribe to help support our content development.

School subscriptions can access more than 175 downloadable unit bundles in our store for free (a value of $1,500).

District subscriptions provide huge group discounts for their schools. Email for a quote:

Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities


Thailand is located in the center of the Indochina peninsula (which is in Southeast Asia) and covers 513,120 square kilometers (198,120 square miles).

Rainforest covers more than a quarter of Thailand. There was once much more forest, but like every forested country on Earth, Thailand struggles with deforestation. It is estimated that 4% of Thailand's forests are harvested each year. That is 145,297 acres (58,800 hectares) each year. Estimates are that between 1990 and 2005, Thailand lost about 9% of its forest – about 3,459,475 acres (1.4 million hectares).

Northern Thailand is mountainous. This region, called the Thai Highlands, extends through Laos, Burma and China and links to the Himalayas. The highest point is Doi Inthanon in the Thanon Thong Chai Range at 8,415 ft (2,565 meters), but most of the peaks reach only about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters). The rugged terrain is broken up by steep, narrow valleys each with rushing streams. The type of mountain forests depend on the elevation and moisture. At cooler, drier locations at high altitudes, the forests are evergreen. In the lower, wetter valleys there are mixed deciduous forests including rainforest. Thailand's tropical forests are home to many endangered species including the Asian tiger, elephant, Malayan tapir, clouded leopard, and hornbills.

Northeast Thailand (Isan) sits on the Khorat Plateau which tilts southeast, draining its waterways into the  Mun and Chi rivers, tributaries to the Mekong. The Mekong River, which borders the plateau to the east, flows 2,703 miles (4,350 km) from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The ‪Khorat Plateau‬ covers about 96,312 square miles (155,000 sq km). It is divided into two basins by the Phu Phan mountains – the northern Sakhon Nakhon Basin, and the southern Khorat Basin. It is separated from Central Thailand by the Phetchabun and Dong Phaya Yen mountains in the west, the Sankamphaeng Range in the southwest and by the Dongrek mountains in the south. These mountain ranges have throughout history made access to the plateau more difficult. They also affect the climate of Thailand. Together with the Truong Son Range in the northeast, these mountains trap rainfall and create a "rain shadow" which decreases the monsoons of the southwest. So the annual rainfall in Nakhon Ratchasima is less – about 45 inches (1,150 mm), compared with 59 inches (1,500 mm) in central Thailand. This makes a difference in the growing season so that region is less fertile for growing rice.

Central Thailand is made up mostly of the flat Chao Phraya river valley, which runs into the Gulf of Thailand. The lowland areas of the Chao Phraya watershed in central Thailand were once freshwater swamp forests, but over time were converted to rice paddies or urban development (cities like Thailand's capital - Bangkok), so are now essentially gone with the wildlife that lived there.

Rice paddies are man-made, agricultural habitats and do contain wildlife. Rice paddy wildlife includes water buffalo, barn owls (Tyto alba), barn swallows (Hirundo rustic), Baya weaver birds (Ploceus philippinus), common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), crows (Corvus macrorhynchos), great egrets (Ardea alba), mallards (Anas platyrhuclus), red junglefowls (Gallus gallus spadiceus), broached catfish (Clarias macrocephalus), giant river prawns (‪Macrobrachium rosenbergii‬), rice field crabs (Esanthelphusa dugasti), field crickets (Gryllus testaceus), Bombay locusts (Patanga succinct), green tree ants (Oecophylla smaragdina), dung beetles (Heliocopris bucephalus fabricius), ladybugs (Coccinellidae), Oriental scarlet dragonflies (Crocothemis servile), Oriental garden lizards (Calotes mystaceus), Malayan snail-eating turtles (Malayemys macrocephala), and Chinese edible frogs (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus).

Southern Thailand consists of the narrow Kra Isthmus that widens into the Malay Peninsula.

There is over 1,615 miles (2,600 km) of coastline between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea

The Andaman Sea coast is lined with mangroves. The mangroves protect the coast during normal seasonal flooding and storm surges. Though an effective natural barrier, they were not able to protect the coast during the overwhelming effect of the 2004 tsunami. The coastline on the Gulf of Thailand has mangrove forests, mudflats, and sandy beaches and receives the water of five major rivers. This inflow of fresh water and nutrients combined with the shallow coastline makes this coast a rich fishery.

Animals Found in This Habitat

Mammal of Thailand:
badger (Burmese ferret-badger) Melogale personata
badger (hog) Arctonyx collaris
bandicoot rat (greater) Bandicota indica
bandicoot rat (Savile's) Bandicota savilei
banteng (Bos javanicus)
bat (acuminate horseshoe) Rhinolophus acuminatus
bat (ashy roundleaf) Hipposideros cineraceus
bat (bicolored roundleaf) Hipposideros bicolor
bat (big-eared horseshoe) Rhinolophus macrotis
bat (black-bearded tomb) Taphozous melanopogon
bat (black-capped fruit bat) Chironax melanocephalus
bat (Blanford's) Hesperoptenus blanfordi
bat (Blanford's fruit bat) Sphaerias blanfordi
bat (Blyth's horseshoe) Rhinolophus lepidus
bat (Bourret's horseshoe) Rhinolophus paradoxolophus
bat (Bumblebee) Craseonycteris thonglongyai
bat (Burma pipistrelle) Hypsugo lophurus
bat (Burmese whiskered) Myotis montivagus
bat (Cadorna's pipistrelle) Hypsugo cadornae
bat (Cantor's roundleaf) Hipposideros galeritus
bat (Chinese pipistrelle Hypsugo pulveratus
bat (collared pipistrelle) Arielulus aureocollaris
bat (common thick-thumbed) Glischropus tylopus
bat (Croslet horseshoe) Rhinolophus coelophyllus
bat (Cynopterus) Cynopterus brachyotis
bat (Dobson's horseshoe) Rhinolophus yunanensis
bat (Diadem roundleaf) Hipposideros diadema
bat (dusky roundleaf) Hipposideros ater
bat (fulvus roundleaf) Hipposideros fulvus
bat (Geoffroy's rousette) Rousettus amplexicaudatus
bat (greater bamboo) Tylonycteris robustula
bat (greater hairy-winged) Harpiocephalus mordax
bat (greater mouse-tailed) Rhinopoma microphyllum
bat (greater short-nosed fruit bat) Cynopterus sphinx
bat (great evening) Ia io
bat (great roundleaf) Hipposideros armiger
bat (groove-toothed) Phoniscus atrox
bat (hairy-faced bat) Myotis annectans
bat (Hardwicke's woolly) Kerivoula hardwickii
bat (harlequin) Scotomanes ornatus
bat (Horsfield's) Myotis horsfieldii
bat (Horsefield's fruit bat) Cynopterus horsfieldi
bat (Hutton's tube-nosed) Murina huttoni
bat (Indian pipistrelle) Pipistrellus coromandra
bat (intermediate horseshoe) Rhinolophus affinis
bat (intermediate long-fingered) Miniopterus medius
bat (intermediate roundleaf) Hipposideros larvatus
bat (Java pipistrelle) Pipistrellus javanicus
bat (large Asian roundleaf) Hipposideros lekaguli
bat (large myotis) Myotis chinensis
bat (La Touche's free-tailed) Tadarida latouchei
bat (least horseshoe) Rhinolophus pusillus
bat (least woolly) Kerivoula minuta
bat (lesser brown Horseshoe) Rhinolophus stheno
bat (lesser dawn) Eonycteris spelaea
bat (lesser false vampire) Megaderma spasma
bat (lesser great leaf-nosed) Hipposideros turpis
bat (lesser large-footed) Myotis hasseltii
bat (lesser mouse-tailed) Rhinopoma hardwickei
bat (lesser sheath-tailed) Emballonura monticola
bat (long-winged tomb) Taphozous longimanus
bat (Lyle's flying fox) Pteropus lylei
bat (Malayan horseshoe) Rhinolophus malayanus
bat (Malayan slit-faced) Nycteris tragata
bat (Marshall's horseshoe) Rhinolophus marshalli
bat (Mount Popa pipistrelle) Pipistrellus paterculus
bat (naked-rumped pouched) Saccolaimus saccolaimus
bat (Pearson's horseshoe) Rhinolophus pearsoni
bat (Pomona roundleaf) Hipposideros pomona
bat (Pratt's roundleaf) Hipposideros pratti
bat (Pteropus) Pteropus vampyrus
bat (Ratanaworabhan's fruit bat) Megaerops niphanae
bat (Schreiber's long-fingered) Miniopterus schreibersii
bat (Scully's tube-nosed) Murina tubinaris
bat (serotine) Eptesicus serotinus
bat (Shamel's horseshoe) Rhinolophus shameli
bat (shield-faced roundleaf) Hipposideros lylei
bat (small bent-winged) Miniopterus pusillus
bat (smaller horseshoe) Rhinolophus megaphyllus
bat (small flying-fox) Pteropus hypomelanus
bat (spotted-winged fruit bat) Balionycteris maculata
bat (Stoliczka's Trident) Aselliscus stoliczkanus
bat (surat serotine) Eptesicus dimissus
bat (Szechwan myotis) Myotis altarium
bat (Thailand roundleaf) Hipposideros halophyllus
bat (Theobald's tomb) Taphozous theobaldi
bat (thick-eared) Eptesicus pachyotis
bat (thick-thumbed myotis) Myotis rosseti
bat (Thomas's horseshoe) Rhinolophus thomasi
bat (Tickell's) Hesperoptenus tickelli
bat (Trefoil horseshoe) Rhinolophus trifoliatus
bat (western bent-winged) Miniopterus magnater
bat (whiskered myotis) Myotis muricola
bat (Whitehead's woolly) Kerivoula whiteheadi
bat (woolly horseshoe) Rhinolophus luctus
bat (wrinkle-lipped free-tailed) Chaerephon plicata
bear (Asiatic black) Ursus thibetanus
boar (Sus scrofa)
cat (Asian golden) Catopuma temminckii
cat (fishing) Prionailurus viverrinus
cat (flat-headed) Prionailurus planiceps
cat (jungle) Felis chaus
cat (leopard) Prionailurus bengalensis
cat (marbled) Pardofelis marmorata
civet (Asian palm) Paradoxurus hermaphroditus
civet (banded palm) Hemigalus derbyanus
civet (Binturong) Arctictis binturong
civet (large Indian) Viverra zibetha
civet (large-spotted) Viverra megaspila
civet (Malayan) Viverra tangalunga
civet (masked palm) Paguma larvata
civet (otter) Cynogale bennettii
civet (small Indian) Viverricula indica
civet (small-toothed palm) Arctogalidia trivirgata
deer (Eld's) Cervus eldii
deer (Indian muntjac) Muntiacus muntjak
deer (lesser mouse deer) Tragulus javanicus
deer (napu) Tragulus napu
deer (Sambar) Cervus unicolo
deer (Schomburgk's) Cervus schomburgki
elephant (Asian) Elephas maximus
elephant (Indian) Elephas maximus
gibbon (agile) Hylobates agilis
gibbon (lar or white-handed) Hylobates lar
gibbon (pileated) Hylobates pileatus
gaur (Bos frontalis)
goral (Chinese) Nemorhaedus caudatus
jackal (golden) Canis aureus
hare (Burmese) Lepus peguensis
hedgehog (gymnure) Echinosorex gymnura
hedgehog (short-tailed gymnure) Hylomys suillus
kouprey (Bos sauveli)
langur (banded) Presbytis femoralis
langur (dusky leaf monkey) Trachypithecus obscurus
langur (Griffith's silver) Trachypithecus villosus
linsang (banded) Prionodon linsang
linsang (spotted) Prionodon pardicolor
lemur (Sunda flying) Cynocephalus variegatus
leopard (Panthera pardus)
leopard (clouded) Neofelis nebulosa
loris (Bengal slow) Nycticebus bengalensis
loris (Sunda) Nycticebus coucang
macaque (Assam) Macaca assamensis
macaque (crab-eating) Macaca fascicularis
macaque (northern pig-tail) Macaca leonina
macaque (rhesus) Macaca mulatta
macaque (southern pig-tail) Macaca nemestrina
macaque (stump-tailed) Macaca arctoides
marten (yellow-throated) Martes flavigula
mole (Himalayan) Euroscaptor micrura
mole (Kloss's) Euroscaptor klossi
mongoose (crab-eating) Herpestes urva
mongoose (small Asian) Herpestes javanicus
mouse (Asiatic long-tailed climbing) Vandeleuria oleracea
mouse (Cook's) Mus cookii
mouse (fawn-colored) Mus cervicolor
mouse (Gairdner's shrewmouse) Mus pahari
mouse (pencil-tailed tree) Chiropodomys gliroides
mouse (Ryukyu) Mus caroli
mouse (Shortridge's) Mus shortridgei
otter (European) Lutra lutra
otter (hairy-nosed) Lutra sumatrana
otter (Oriental small-clawed) Aonyx cinereus
otter (smooth-coated) Lutrogale perspicillata
pangolin (Chinese) Manis pentadactyla
pangolin (Sunda) Manis javanica
porcupine (Asiatic brush-tailed) Atherurus macrourus
porcupine (Malayan) Hystrix brachyura
rat (Bower's white-toothed) Berylmys bowersi
rat (chestnut white-bellied) Niviventer fulvescens
rat (Chinese white-bellied) Niviventer confucianus
rat (dark-tailed tree) Niviventer cremoriventer
rat (Edward's long-tailed giant) Leopoldamys edwardsi
rat (Fea's tree) Chiromyscus chiropus
rat (Himalayan field) Rattus nitidus
rat (hoary bamboo) Rhizomys pruinosus
rat (Lang Bian white-bellied) Niviventer langbianis
rat (large bamboo) Rhizomys sumatrensis
rat (lesser bamboo) Cannomys badius
rat (lesser rice-field) Rattus losea
rat (limestone) Niviventer hinpoon
rat (long-tailed giant) Leopoldamys sabanus
rat (Malayan field) Rattus tiomanicus
rat (marmoset) Hapalomys longicaudatus
rat (Müller's Giant Sunda) Sundamys muelleri
rat (Neill's long-tailed giant) Leopoldamys neilli
rat (Polynesian) Rattus exulans
rat (Rajah spiny) Maxomys rajah
rat (red spiny) Maxomys surifer
rat (rice-field) Rattus argentiventer
rat (Sikkim) Rattus sikkimensis
rat (small white-toothed) Berylmys berdmorei
rat (Tanezumi) Rattus tanezumi
rat (Whitehead's spiny) Maxomys whiteheadi
Rhinoceros (Javan) Rhinoceros sondaicus
Rhinoceros (Sumatran) Dicerorhinus sumatrensis
serow (mainland) Nemorhaedus sumatraensis
shrew (Etruscan) Suncus etruscus
shrew (Grey) Crocidura attenuata
shrew (Horsefield's) Crocidura horsfieldii
shrew (Lowe's) Soriculus parca
shrew (Malayan pygmy) Suncus malayanus
shrew (Mole) Anourosorex squamipes
shrew (Southeast Asian) Crocidura fuliginosa
shrew (Taiga) Crocidura pullata
squirrel (Asian red-cheeked) Dremomys rufigenis
squirrel (Berdmore's ground) Menetes berdmorei
squirrel (black giant) Ratufa bicolor
squirrel (black-striped) Ratufa bicolor
squirrel (callosciurus) Callosciurus erythraeus
squirrel (Cambodian striped) Tamiops rodolphei
squirrel (cream-colored giant) Ratufa affinis
squirrel (Finlayson's) Callosciurus finlaysonii
squirrel (gray-bellied) Callosciurus caniceps
squirrel (gray-cheeked) Hylopetes lepidus
squirrel (hair-footed flying) Belomys pearsonii
squirrel (Himalayan striped) Tamiops macclellandi
squirrel (horse-tailed) Sundasciurus hippurus
squirrel (Indian giant flying) Petaurista philippensis
squirrel (Indochinese flying) Hylopetes phayrei
squirrel (Low's) Sundasciurus lowii
squirrel (parti-colored flying) Hylopetes alboniger
squirrel (plantain) Callosciurus notatus
squirrel (Prevost's) Callosciurus prevostii
squirrel (red-cheeked flying) Hylopetes spadiceus
squirrel (red giant flying) Petaurista petaurista
squirrel (shrew-faced) Rhinosciurus laticaudatus
squirrel (slender) Sundasciurus tenuis
squirrel (smoky flying) Pteromyscus pulverulentus
squirrel (Temminck's flying) Petinomys setosus
squirrel (three-striped ground) Lariscus insignis
tapir (Malayan) Tapirus indicus
tiger (Panthera tigris)
treeshrew (common) Tupaia glis
treeshrew (northern) Tupaia belangeri
treeshrew (northern smooth-tailed) Dendrogale murina
treeshrew (pen-tailed) Ptilocercus lowii
treeshrew (pygmy) Tupaia minor
vole (Pere David's) Eothenomys melanogaster
water buffalo (Wild) Asian Bubalus bubalis
weasel (back-striped) Mustela strigidorsa
weasel (Malayan) Mustela nudipes
weasel (Siberian) Mustela sibirica
weasel (yellow-bellied) Mustela kathiah

Coastal Mammals of Thailand:

dolphin (bottlenose) Tursiops aduncus
dolphin (Fraser's) Lagenodelphis hosei
dolphin (Irrawaddy) Orcaella brevirostris
dolphin (Pantropical spotted) Stenella attenuata
dolphin (Risso's) Grampus griseus
dolphin (rough-toothed) Steno bredanensis
dolphin (spinner) Stenella longirostris
dugong (Dugong dugon)
porpoise (finless) Neophocaena phocaenoides
whale (minke) Balaenoptera acutorostrata
whale (pygmy killer) Feresa attenuata
whale (sei) Balaenoptera borealis
whale (sperm) Physeter macrocephalus

To view these resources with no ads, please Login or Subscribe to help support our content development.

School subscriptions can access more than 175 downloadable unit bundles in our store for free (a value of $1,500).

District subscriptions provide huge group discounts for their schools. Email for a quote:

Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities
Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities
Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities
Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities
Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities

Citing Research References

When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).

When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Thailand - Habitats, Animals and Activities" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2024. March 25, 2024
< > has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.