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Ranong Biosphere Reserve, Thailand

Declared as a biosphere reserve in 1997, the Ranong Biosphere Reserve is situated 650 km south of Bangkok along the Andaman coast of the isthmus of 
. The Ranong Biosphere Reserve incorporates a range of diversified natural and disturbed habitats including mangrove forests, tropical evergreen forests, open sea, seagrass beds and urban and agricultural land. However, mangroves are the most representative ecosystem within this biosphere reserve.

Designation date: 1997


Regional network:  

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 31,007 ha

    • Core area(s): 5,786 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 19,024 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 6,197 ha

    Location: 9°43' to 9°57'N; 98°29' to 98°39'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Ranong Mangrove Forest Research Center
    Mangrove Development Station No. 10 (Ranong)
    Department of Marine and Coastal Resource
    Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
    Tambon Ngoa, Muang
    Ranong 85000

    Tel.: 66 77 848391

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    Ecological Characteristics

    This biosphere reserve is situated 650 km south of Bangkok and covers about 30,000 hectares, of which 40% is a marine area. It consists of a narrow coastal plain characterized by many waterways and mangrove forests, reaching out to the sea towards seagrass beds at a depth of 10 meters. The Njao and Laem Son National Park are contiguous to Ranong and hence there is a continuum of protected habitats going from the mountain ecosystem down to the coast and sea.

    Within the reserve, over 300 species of fauna have been identified, including the dugong (Dugong dugon) and more than 50 species of mangroves. The Ranong Biosphere Reserve currently exists as the largest continuous stand of mangroves within
    , and is an important nexus for mangrove related research regionally.



    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Within the biosphere reserve, a range of lifestyles and socio-economic industries exist, ranging from small-scale in-shore fisheries within the core zones to shrimp farming, rubber plantations, and oil-palm plantations within the transition zones. Complex and intricate human and ecological interactions between all ecosystem types, transition zones, and socio-economic industries exist.

    The majority of tourists that visit the RBR come to experience and learn about the unique fauna and flora of mangroves. Some visitors come to the reserve for recreational activities and hire traditional long-tail boats to visit the mangrove areas. Two particularly popular tourist spots are the Giant Rhizophora apiculata and the local villages located in the mangroves.

    The MFRC acts as the primary welcome center for the RBR. The number of people that visit the MFRC is increasing with an approximate annual amount 10,000 visitors.


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    Last updated: May 2019