Koh Phangan is a tropical island, much different to where most of us are used to and so you can expect to see a different kind of wildlife also. Let’s take a look at what you might see…
Common House Gecko
These little things are your friend and nothing to be scared of, they’ll share your dorm, house, bungalow and every wall you look at. You will get used to them in time.
These little geckos are good to have around as they eat spiders and other insects, so they act as a kind of pest control although the poor cute things are the prey of the much larger Tokay gecko.
Our little friends can live for up to five years and attain sexual maturity within one year! Because of the females rather translucent under belly it is sometimes possible to see the eggs within, they only lay one or two eggs, this is usually between April to August.
The big lizards that pop up and takes you by surprise if you haven’t seen them before! These big geckos are commonly known as Tokay geckos and are one of the largest geckos alive today. They get their name 'Tokay' gecko because of the sound they make 'too-kay'.
They are quite distinctive fellows with grey/blue skin covered with several brownish red spots. This colouration of the Tokay is import to its lifestyle as it change can it, either lighten or darken, so as to be less noticeable to other animals.
They can be very loud these geckos and people have many different ways of describing this sound (some too rude to mention). These calls are used for communication and to find members of the opposite sex, a bit like a gecko serenade although less tuneful. They also make a hissing or croaking noise as a means of defense when being attacked.
One very interesting thing we have learned about the Tokay gecko is that they have folds of skin that prevent it from casting a shadow whilst resting on a tree! How cool! This means they can relax and go unnoticed by predators. They open up this skin fold and it allows them to blend in with the tree bark.
Little Running Lizards or snouted Lizard
Little runners with a long tail. Find them everywhere in the bushes and in the jungle. Sweet little ones.
Ok so not the most exotic but let’s get these cuties covered first before the more exciting ones. There are a lot of dogs here on Phangan, many owned pets of course but the ones you will see the most will be stray or street dogs and sometimes their puppies.
Although it may not seem it, a lot of these dogs are taken care of as much as possible by Phangan Animal Care for Strays and also volunteer individuals who keep an eye on them. To learn more about the dog population on the island it is a wise idea to go and visit PACS yourself, this helps the charity and the dogs. One thing is very important, don’t take the dog back to where you are staying if you cannot commit to giving it a forever home but please do enjoy the doggies wherever you may meet them!
These Amphibians are a round chubby frog that are prevalent in their thousands on this island. These creatures mainly are seen and heard after there are heavy rains as they gather in small pools and puddles after the rain, and make a very distinctive ‘loud groaning moan or honk’.
The noise this frog makes is when the male frogs’ have got together with their friends and are having a frog party after heavy rains and are calling the females.
This is the annoying loud noise that you hear as they inflate their bodies and make this very distinctive call. The females then join the party in the small pool and lay their eggs in the pool or puddle which the male frog then use for their reproductive purposes.
So remember the next time you hear these frogs and get slightly annoyed, you are hearing the natural habitat of Koh Phangan and the evolution of a resident of the island.
There are dangerous snakes on Koh Phangan such as Cobras and King Cobras but these are very rare and if you see one then count yourself lucky - but keep your distance.
However you may come into close contact with some smaller types of snakes such as the coconut or green tree snake.
The dangerous snakes on Koh Phangan live in the undergrowth or deep in the jungle and do not stalk or threaten humans. If you see one then stop walking and simply slowly walk the other way and notify your hostel or hotel of where you have seen one of these and they will call ‘the snake guy’ too safely remove the snake from the premises.
These monkeys are called Long tailed Macaques. The species are all over South East Asia and are the most common primate - apart from us Humans of course!
These monkeys live in a wide range of habitats including the forests and jungles, mangroves, plantations and on the outskirts of towns and villages.
The ones most commonly seen on Koh Phangan will be on the Haad Rin hills. As they are wild animals which are next to the road, people sometimes try to feed them all types of food that they should not be eating. Please only take photos of these monkeys and try not to interact with them by offering food as they will then start to act unnatural and can maybe start attacking people for their food. If this happens it will be the monkey that will be made to disappear which is obviously not fair to the monkey.
The monkeys here can sometimes go down to the beach and can be seen swinging around and again these are great for photos but it is better to leave them happily swinging in their tree or on the power lines above.
If they come more close to people causing trouble it's just not good. Only look and take photos and videos, but leave them to live in happiness with each other.
Stays around ponds, lakes and other fresh water spots.
Our island and the islands out here around Koh Phangan are famous for their underwater life! Many have been lucky to spot the big whale shark here f.ex
The underwater life here is famous for its variaty and quantity!
Maybe it is time for you to also have a look? We offer beginners classes and try out dives to anyone who feel like trying!!
Or maybe you just need your Advanced Divers Certificate?
Or maybe you even already have that and are just looking for a fun dive with friends?
Group dives and underwater adventures is one of our most popular choices! Have a look and dive in with us!!
That was just a short review of some of the most common animals to find here!
There are lots and lots of other animals to see though! Please send us photos and descriptions if you find someone special that you like to share with us!!