28.4% —or about 14,520,000 hectares—of Thailand is forested. Of this, 44.4% —or roughly 6,451,000 hectares—is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Thailand lost an average of 115,100 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 0.72%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change decreased by 44.9% to 0.40% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Thailand lost 9.1% of its forest cover, or around 1,445,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Thailand lost 14.3% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Thailand has some 1715 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 5.1% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 5.8% are threatened. Thailand is home to at least 11625 species of vascular plants. 12.7% of Thailand is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

Thailand Environmental profile | Thailand pictures


Thailand: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)51,089,000
Total Forest Area (ha)14,520,000
Percent Forest Cover28.42%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)6,451,000
Primary Forest, % total forest44.43%
Primary Forest, % total land12.63%
Other wooded land (ha)-

Thailand : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)100%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Thailand: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)6,451,00044.4%
Modified natural (ha | %)4,970,00034.2%
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)1,997,00013.8%
Production plantation (ha | %)1,102,0007.6%

Thailand: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)15,965,000
Forest 2000 (ha)14,814,000
Forest 2005 (ha)14,520,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(115,100)-0.72%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(58,800)-0.40%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(1,445,000)-9.05%
Change in rate (%)-44.94%
Primary 1990 (ha)6,451,000
Primary 2000 (ha)6,451,000
Primary 2005 (ha)6,451,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)-
Other 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)2,640,000
Other 2000 (ha)3,077,000
Other 2005 (ha)3,099,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)43,7001.66%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)4,4000.14%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)459,00017.39%
Change in rate (%)-91.36%
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)13,325,000
Other 2000 (ha)11,737,000
Other 2005 (ha)11,421,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(158,800)-1.19%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(63,200)-0.54%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(1,904,000)-14.29%
Change in rate (%)-54.82%

Thailand: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)6,451,000
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)6,451,000
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)12.63%

Thailand: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)86.8%
Private (%)13.2%
Other (%)-
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)13.8%
Protection (%)7.6%
Conservation (%)58.3%
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)1.1%
None of Unknown (%)19.3%

Thailand: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)1.01%
Insects (ha)-
Diseases (ha)-
Other (ha)-

Thailand: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 200510
World Heritage sites, 20044
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land12.7%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land6.79%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20045.90%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20040.00%

Thailand: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species103
endemic species12
threatened species3
total species971
endemic species23
threatened species42
total species300
endemic species6
threatened species36
total species341
endemic species47
threatened species19
Wildlife diversity
total species1715
endemic species88
threatened species100

Thailand: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species-
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered30
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic0
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened84

Thailand: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)1,129
Below-ground biomass (M t)305
Dead wood (M t)158
Total (M t)1,592
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)564
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)152
Carbon in dead wood (M t)79
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)41
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)8
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)49
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)n.s.
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$46,000
Wood fuel (US$)$13,000
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)$59,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$n.s.
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed16,000

Thailand : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Thailand: Environment
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Natural hazardsland subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts

Thailand: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 29.36%
permanent crops: 6.46%
other: 64.18% (2001)
Natural resourcestin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land

Thailand: Economy
Economy - overview:With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and pro-investment policies, Thailand appears to have fully recovered from the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis. The country was one of East Asia's best performers in 2002-04. Boosted by increased consumption, high investment spending, and strong export growth the Thai economy grew 6.9% in 2003 and 6.1% in 2004 despite a sluggish global economy. Bangkok has pursued preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in an effort to boost exports and to maintain high growth. In 2004 Thailand and the United States began negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took 8,500 lives in Thailand and caused massive destruction of property in the southern provinces of Krabi, Phangnga, and Phuket. Growth slowed to 4.6% in 2005. The downturn can be attributed to high oil prices, weaker demand from Western markets, severe drought in rural regions, tsunami-related declines in tourism, and lower consumer confidence. Moreover, the THAKSIN adminitration's expansionist economic policies, including multi-billion-dollar mega-projects in infrastructure and social development, has raised concerns about fiscal discipline and the health of financial institutions. On the positive side, the Thai economy performed well beginning in the third quarter of 2005. Export-oriented manufacturing - in particular automobile production - and farm output are driving these gains. In 2006 the economy should benefit from an influx of investment and stronger private consumption, however, a possible avian flu epidemic could significantly harm economic prospects throughout the region.
GDP - per capita$8,300 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)4.6% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 9.3%, industry: 45.1%, services: 45.6% (2005 est.)
Industries tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry, electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts, world's second-largest tungsten producer, and third-largest tin producer
Economic aid - recipient$72 million (2002)
Debt - external$50.63 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)10% (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 49%, industry 14%, services 37% (2000 est.)

Thailand: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)65,444,371
Population growth rate (%) (2005)0.87%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)127.9
Percent rural (2003)68.1%
Median age (years)total: 30.88 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)1.88 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%

Largest Cities in Thailand

Cities and urban areas in Thailand with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
Samut PrakanThailand390300390300
Udon ThaniThailand227200227200
Hat YaiThailand191200191200
Chon BuriThailand188200188200
Chiang MaiThailand172900172900
Si RachaThailand145600145600
Khon KaenThailand145300145300
Nakhon PathomThailand124300124300
Nakhon Si ThammaratThailand122400122400
Surat ThaniThailand117100117100
Ubon RatchathaniThailand109800109800

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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