From the snow-capped Himalayas in the north to the
coral-fringed Mergui Archipelago in the south, Myanmar's 2000-km length
crosses three distinct ecological regions within the vast Indo-Malay bio
geographic realm: the Indian sub region along the Bangladesh and India
borders; the Indochinese sub region in the north bordering Laos and
China; and the Syndic sub region bordering peninsular Thailand. Together
these regions produce what is quite likely the richest biodiversity in
Very little natural history research has been carried out in Myanmar due
to the country's self-imposed isolation from the rest of the world since
independence. Most of the studies available date to the British colonial
era and are not reliable by today's standards. Tertiary education in the
country, which has never approached an international level, has further
declined in quality since the 1970s, hence native research is even more
scant. So far Myanmar's new openness to tourism and foreign investment
has not extended to the reception of trained wildlife researchers, but
indications are this may soon change.
Myanmar claims to have three national parks and 17
wildlife sanctuaries (including two marine and three wetland
environments) which together protect about 1% of the nation's total land
surface. Compared to international averages, this is a very low coverage
(Thailand, by comparison, has 12% coverage); the government reports
plans to raise protection to 5% by the end of the century.
At the moment deforestation by the timber industry poses the greatest
threat to wildlife habitats. The state-owned Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE)
accounts for most of the logging undertaken throughout the country. The
most valued woods are teak and cherry-wood (padauk). Reportedly the
company follows a sustainable 'selective tender' system devised by the
British in 1856 to maintain forest cover. The latest government plan
calls for the complete elimination of all log exports, figuring that the
greatest potential revenue comes from processed wood products rather
than raw timber. If this plan is carried out, cutting should slow even
further. Unfortunately illegal logging in areas of the country
controlled by insurgent armies - particularly in the Shan and Kayin
states - is not controlled. These areas - rather than the MTE - are the
greatest source of timber smuggled to neighbouring countries.
In areas where habitat loss isn't a problem, hunting threatens to wipe
out the more rare animal species. Even in the nation's nominally
protected lands, wildlife laws are seldom enforced due to corruption and
a general lack of manpower. While many animals are hunted for food,
tigers and rhinos are killed for the lucrative overseas Chinese
pharmaceutical market. Among the Chinese, the ingestion of tiger penis
and bone are thought to have curative effects. Taipei, where at least
two-thirds of the pharmacies deal in tiger parts (in spite of the fact
that such trade is contrary to Taiwanese law), is the world centre for
Burmese tiger consumption.
Marine resources are threatened by a lack of long-range conservation
goals. For the moment, Myanmar's lack of industrialisation means the
release of pollutants into the seas is relatively low. But over fishing,
especially in the delta regions, is a growing problem. The country must
also deal with illegal encroachment on national fisheries by Thai and
Malaysian fishing boats.
Here are some information.
Cat lovers throughout the world knows
what a "Burmese cat" is like. In Zoology books and papers have described
this type of cat as "Burmese cat" ever since and they are not willing to
change the name. Burmese cats are known to be the most friendly type of
cat known to men and cat-lovers always want to have a Burmese cat.
If you have visited some pet stores, you can often find
"Burmese pythons". They are also well known.
Ornamental shrubs and climbers of the genus Lonicera
Burmese padauk (a) Burma padauk
very fine Burmese rosewood
Burmese lacquer tree
biological name "Gluta usitata"
An endangered species of this century.