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Library Khoe Kay: Biodiversity in Peril

Khoe Kay: Biodiversity in Peril

Khoe Kay: Biodiversity in Peril

Resource information

Date of publication
June 2008
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

Executive Summary:
"A team of Karen researchers from the Karen Environmental and Social Action
Network has undertaken this study to begin documentation of the rich
biodiversity of Khoe Kay, a bend in the Salween River that is part of their
homeland. They also want to document and expose the severe threats faced by this
stretch of the Salween, both from large dams and ongoing militarization.

Using methods of their own culture, as well as those used in university research, they have found that Khoe Kay is studded with both plant and animal diversity, with 194 plant species and 200 animals identified.
Forty-two of these species are considered endangered, being found in IUCN's Redlist, the CITES Appendices, or both. Thus, conservation of the area will protect many globally important resources.
Endemic and unknown species are also represented, with eight endemic fish species of particular interest. Also, many of the plants and animals unknown to Western science are used by the Karen for food and medicine, providing opportunities for further research. Furthermore, several entire taxa, such as mollusks, spiders and fungi, have been treated very lightly if at all in this report, so the reader is encouraged to undertake further study with assistance from KESAN.
Lying on the riverine border of Thailand and Burma, the area is relatively untrammeled. Teak trees dominate, and therefore Khoe Kay provides a window into the biodiversity of the entire region prior to industrial development.
Threats from proposed large dams and militarization may seriously degrade Khoe Kay. With dams, the main concerns are greenhouse gas emissions, loss of fisheries, cumulative effects of several cascading dams, and flow changes and sedimentation. Militarization of the area is also increasing, having already resulted in the loss of one severely endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros.

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