Sanam Luang was officially known as Thung Phra Mane (the royal cremation ground) (Thai : ทุ่งพระเมรุ). It has been used as a site for the cremation of kings, queens and high-ranking princes since the reign of King Rama I. The present king uses Sanam Luang annually on 11 March, for the Ploughing Ceremony and the Ceremony of Calling the Rain. There were various ceremonies performed at Sanam Luang, including the Bi-Centennial Celebration of Bangkok (Thai : พระราชพิธีฉลองกรุงรัตนโกสินทร์ครบ 200 ปี), in 1982, the grand celebration to the king's birthday (Thai : พระราชพิธีกาญจนาภิเษก) and the cremation for Queen Rambhai Barni of King Rama VII, in 1986. The last cremation that took place there was for the Queen Grandmother, Somdej Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajachondeni in 1997.
Thailand is home to 982 species of birds that have been recorded in the wild, of which three are endemic, one has been introduced by humans, and 45 are rare or accidental. Seven species listed are extirpated in Thailand and are not included in the species count. Forty-nine species are globally threatened.
In 1991, it was estimated that 159 resident and 23 migratory species were endangered or vulnerable, due to forest clearance, illegal logging, hunting, and habitat degradation, especially in the lowlands. Those species most affected are large water birds, whose wetland habitat is lost to agriculture, and forest species, where deforestation for agriculture and logging have removed or degraded the woodlands.