Wildlife

During your time at Golden Buddha you will see a diverse range of fantastic wildlife. Here is a selection to get you started. At the clubhouse we have a wide selection of books, and our knowledgeable staff will be able to help you identify and enjoy our wonderful neighbours.

BLUE TAILED BEE EATER

Scientific name: Merops philippinus
Size: Up to 25cm

A highly migratory bird which breeds in south-east Asia. It is predominantly green. Its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat. The tail is blue. It predominantly eats bees and dragonflies. It nests in sandbanks laying up to seven eggs in a long tunnel.

CRAB-EATING MACAQUE

Scientific name: Macaca fascicularis
Size:  Up to 55cm (body) with a tail longer than the body at 65cm

A very social animal that lives in groups anywhere from 5-60+ animals. The groups usually have fewer males than females. In social groups of macaques, there is a clear dominance hierarchy among females. Crab-eating macaques typically do not consume crabs, rather they are opportunistic omnivores. They can and will eat a wide variety of animals, plants and other materials. Crab-eating macaques are found in a wide variety of habitats, including rain forests, coastal forests and mangroves.

JING JOK

Scientific name: Hemidactylus frenatus
Size: 7 to 15cm

These geckos are very common all over Thailand and can be found in most buildings. The suction-like feet enable them to climb and run on ceilings and walls in search of insects attracted to porch lights, hence their name “House Gecko”. The tropical gecko thrives in warm, humid areas. It is very adaptable and may prey on insects and spiders, displacing other reptiles. It is mainly nocturnal.

Like many geckos, this species can lose its tail when alarmed. They vary in colour from light brown to various other shades. Their skin is thin and pretty smooth. They make quite a loud and unique clicking sound. These small geckos are non-venomous and harmless to humans.

LEATHERBACK TURTLE

Scientific name: Dermochelys coriacea
Size: 1.80–2.20m in total length
Weight: 250-700kg

The leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh.

While other sea turtle species almost always return to their hatching beach, leatherbacks may choose another beach within the region. They nest at night when the risk of predation is lowest. As leatherback turtles spend the vast majority of their lives in the ocean, their eyes are not well adapted to night vision on land. The typical nesting environment includes a dark forested area adjacent to the beach. The contrast between this dark forest and the brighter, moonlit ocean provides directionality for the females. They nest towards the dark and then return to the ocean and the light.

LESSER ADJUTANT

Scientific name: Leptoptilos javanicus
Size: Up to 120cm
Weight: ca 5kg

Large wading stork found throughout Asia. They have a large wingspan of over two meters, bare head and a neck like a vulture. Lesser Adjutant feed mainly on frogs and large insects, but also small birds, reptiles and rodents. They tend to be widely dispersed and are very local, often found in large rivers and lakes inside well-wooded regions. Large-scale development including aquaculture threatens the current global population.

LITTLE EGRET

Scientific name: Egretta zargetta
Size: Up to 65cm

These egrets nests in colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs or in a reedbed or bamboo grove. They are usually found in open wetland habitat where they feed on a variety of animals such as insects, frogs, and reptiles. At one time, the plumes of the Little Egret were in demand for decorating hats.

ORIENTAL PIED HORNBILL

Scientific name: Anthracoceros albirostris
Size: Up to 90cm

Found across Asia. Oriental Pied Hornbill live in subtropical or tropical lowland forest. Their trademark is a large, long bill which is not made of solid bone but of a honeycomb tissue. These beautiful birds eat mainly fruit, but they will also catch insects and small animals including reptiles, birds and mammals. Their characteristic cackle sounds like a witch.

BROWN HAWK OWL

Scientific name: Ninox scutulata
Size: about 32cm

This species of owl is a resident breeder in most of tropical southern Asia from the Middle East to south China. Its habitat is well-wooded country and forest.

The Brown Hawk-Owl is a medium-sized owl, with a hawk-like shape due to its long tail and lack of a distinct facial disk. Both sexes share similar characteristics. The upper parts are dark brown, with a barred tail. The under parts are whitish with reddish-brown streaking, although the subspecies found in the Andaman Islands has dark brown under parts. The tail is barred. The eyes are large and yellow. The female lays three to five eggs in a tree hole. This species is very nocturnal, but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree. It feeds mainly on large insects, frogs, lizards, small birds, and mice.

RUDDY KINGFISHER

Scientific name: Halcyon coromanda
Size: Up to 30cm

These kingfishers have a very large, bright red bill and equally red legs. They inhabit forested areas from temperate to tropical zones, often in thick jungles and rain forests. They generally feed on fish, crustaceans, and large insects. The kingfisher’s high, descending call is more often heard than the bird itself is seen.

SAMBAR DEER

Scientific name: Rusa unicolor
Size: 102-160cm at the shoulder
Weight: up to 550kg

The Sambar is a large deer native to southern and southeast Asia. The appearance and size of the sambar vary widely. The large, rugged antlers are typically rusine, the brow tines being simple and the beams forked at the tip, so that they have only three tines. The antlers are typically up to 110 centimeters (43 inches) long in fully adult individuals. As with most deer, only the males have antlers.

Sambar are found in habitats ranging from tropical seasonal forests to tropical rain forests. They are seldom found far from water. Sambar prefer the dense cover of deciduous shrubs and grasses, although the exact nature of this varies enormously with the environment, because of their wide range across southern Asia.

TOKAY

Scientific name: Gekko gecko
Size: 20-50cm

Tokays are also known as Big House Geckos. Their native habitat is rainforest trees and cliffs, but they also frequently adapt to rural human habitations, roaming walls and ceilings at night in search of insect prey. During day-time, they like to hide in cool places. Tokays have bumpy thick skin that is bluish gray in colour with orange spots. In addition, they have white stripes on the body. Males are more colourful than females.

Males are very territorial, and will attack other male tokays as well as other gecko species in their territory. They are solitary and only meet during the mating season. Medium to large geckos may bite if distressed, however their bite is gentle and will not pierce skin. It is quite amazing to see their red tongue when they’re cornered or ready to attack.

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