Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia spanning 513,120 square kilometres, with a population of almost 70 million. It is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and Myanmar. Thailand also shares maritime borders with Vietnam to the southeast, and Indonesia and India to the southwest.
Thailand has a mediocre but improving performance in the global Environmental Performance Index with an overall ranking of 91 out of 180 countries in 2016. The environmental areas where Thailand performs worst are air quality, environmental effects of the agricultural industry, and the climate and energy sector, the later mainly because of a high CO2 emission per KWh produced. Thailand performs best in water resource management, with some major improvements expected for the future, and sanitation, The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.00/10, ranking it 88th globally out of 172 countries.
The population of elephants, the country's national symbol, has fallen from 100,000 in 1850 to an estimated 2,000. Poachers have long hunted elephants for ivory and hides, and now increasingly for meat. Young elephants are often captured for use in tourist attractions or as work animals, where there have been claims of mistreatment. However, their use has declined since the government banned logging in 1989.
Poaching of protected species remains a major problem. Tigers, leopards, and other large cats are hunted for their pelts. Many are farmed or hunted for their meat, which supposedly has medicinal properties. Although such trade is illegal, the well-known Bangkok market Chatuchak is still known for the sale of endangered species. The practice of keeping wild animals as pets affects species such as Asiatic black bear, Malayan sun bear, white-handed lar, pileated gibbon, and binturong.