Ecotourism in Myanmar

1. Union of Myanmar

Location – South East Asia Total land area - 261,228 sq miles (677,000 sq km), extending from latitude 10N to 28N and longitude 92E to 102E from a land corridor linking the Indian, Indo – Chinese and Sundial sub-bio geographical regions such as:- India and Bangladesh in the West China in the North and East Laos and Thailand in the East The Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal in the South West.

2. Major River System

The auspicious setting of rugged and majestic terrain ecosystem is sacred water tower of Myanmar lifeline Ayeyarwady. The rangelands ecosystem also is important for the headwater’s environment of the major rivers system in the Himalaya. Nine of the World major rivers The Ganges, Indus, Sutley, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Thanlwin, Ayeyarwady, Yangtze and Yellow are originated in the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau.

  • Ayeyarwady -1350 miles (2170 km) with navigable distances 930 miles (1500 km)
  • Chindwin -Approximately 600 miles with navigable distance 110 miles (180 km) in dry season 380 miles (610 km) during the monsoon
  • Thanlwin -1749 miles (2816 km) with navigable distance 100 miles (160 km)

3. Flora and Fauna

Myanmar’s richness of a diverse array of species and ecosystems constitute one of the biological reservoirs in Asia. One of the unique feature of Myanmar is the Eastern Himalaya, the remote plateau region lies in the rain shadow of the Madoi Madaing Razi Alpine rangeland. The year round, snow-capped Mountains are the unique geophysical landmark in the Hindu – Kush –Himalayan region of Myanmar. dvm01Marine and terrestrial ecosystems containing mosaic coral reefs, mangrove forests and rain forests offer a degree of choice for the establishment of ecotourism sites. In these diversified ecosystems, with approximately 14000 species of plants, 1036 species of residential birds (representing 12% of world’s total), 68 specie of swallow- tail butterflies (representing another 12% of the world total make it the fifth richest country in the world), 372 species reptiles, 300 species of mammals, 10 species of amphibians indicate that unparalleled richness of the biodiversity compared to any country with a landmass equivalent to Myanmar. Alpine rangeland of Madoi Madaing Razi provide habitats for numerous species of wildlife and plant species are of medicinal value and other species may provide important genetic material for future economic use. Meadow rangeland of the Himalaya are also some of the world’s most outstanding rangeland ecosystems. So that the Eastern Himalayan alpine meadows were so well represented in the ‘‘Global 200 highlights’’ the special attention that these areas need for conserving not only for Myanmar but also for the world’s biodiversity.

dvm024. Geological Profile

Divided into four parts :

  1. Rakhine Coastal Strip
  2. Fold Mountain Belt
  3. Central Belt
  4. Shan Plateau
  5. Climate – Tropical

5. Forest Cover

Myanmar still enjoy total forested area: 132715 sq miles or roughly 45% total land with protected area 40137 sq miles and reserve forest of total 92578 sq miles.

6. National Park Systems

Myanmar has total 40 National Parks system established which includes Wildlife Sanctuaries, Bird Sanctuaries, Protected Areas etc which are managed by the Wild Life department, Ministry of Forestry.

7. Designated Eco- Tourism Sites

  1. National Botanical Gardens
  2. Moeywingyi Wetland Bird Sanctuary
  3. Popa Mountain Park
  4. Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary
  5. Inle Lake Bird Sanctuary
  6. Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park
  7. Natma Taung National Park
  8. Hkakaborazi National Park
  9. Phongun Razi Wild Life Sanctuary
  10. Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary
  11. Lumpi Marine National Park
  12. Myaing Hay Wun Elephant camp and Hospice
  13. Phokya Sakan Elephant Camp
  14. Hukoung Valley Tiger Reserves

9a. National Botanical Gardens

  • Location – Pyin Oo Lwin Township, Mandalay Division
  • Total Land Area – 344.81 acres
  • Natural forest area – 42 acres
  • Year of establishment – 1915
  • Forest type - 482 species of native tree, 67 species of foreign tree, 75 species of Bamboom, 210 species of flower and 42 species of indigenous orchid.
  • Wildlife – 13 species of residential bird, 16 species of migratory bird

dvm039b. Moeywingyi Wetland Bird Sanctuary

  • Location – Bago Township, Bago Division
  • Year of establishment - 1986
  • Wild life - Rich in wetland eco-system with, 58 species of residential birds, 66 species of migratory birds and 26 species of butterflies

9c. Popa Mountain Park

  • Location – Kyauk Padaung Township, Mandalay Division.
  • dvm04Year of establishment – 1983
  • Upgraded into National Park in 1989
  • Total area - 49.63 sq miles
  • Dry zone ecosystem with rich flora and fauna
  • Type of forest - Than, Dahat forest, low land Indein forest, upper mixed deciduous forest, hill evergreen forest, pine forest and hill grass land etc. A reserve garden of 345 species of Myanmar indigenous herbal medicine plants
  • Wild Life - Barking deer, civets, dusky leaf monkeys 175 species of residential birds, 30 species of butterflies.

dvm059d. Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Location - Minbu, Saku and Ngapeh Townships, Magwe Division.
  • Area - 2134 square miles.
  • Year of establishment – 1940
  • Forest type – Than–Dahat, Low Indein and dry deciduous forests
  • Wild life - Bear, Gaur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Eld's deer, Wild boar and various types of wild cats, wild dogs and birds and rare Star tortoise.
  • Bird – 113 species of residential birds

dvm069e. Inlay Lake Wetland bird Sanctuary

  • Location – Nyaung Shwe Township, Southern Shan State.
  • Year of establishment - 1985
  • Total area - 642.32 sq miles
  • Wetland ecosystem with 37 species of birds, 27 species of wetland birds, 14 species of migratory birds and 40 species of fresh water fish, otters, turtles.

dvm079f. Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park

  • Location - Mingin Township of Sagaing, Division.
  • Area 620.35 square miles.
  • Year of establishment - 1941
  • Opened as a National Park in 1984
  • Forest type – Moist upper mixed deciduous forest, dry upper and lower mixed deciduous forest. Indein and pine forest
  • Wild Life – Elephant, tiger, leopard, guar, benteng, sambar, barking deer, jungle goat, mountain goat, bear, wild boar, jungle cat
  • Bird – 60 species of residential bird including prominent great horn bills plus 200 species of butterflies

dvm089g. Natma Taung National Park

  • Location - Kampalat, Mindat and Matupi Townships
  • Year of establishment - 1994
  • Total area - 279 sq miles
  • Type of forest – Hill evergreen forest, moist upper deciduous forest, Pine forest & hill Savannah, Rhododendron in white, yellow and red and indigenous orchid including rare black orchid
  • Wild life - Gaur Serow and gorals
  • Bird - 284 species of residential birds including 5 species of endemic birds like White browed Nuthatch species

dvm099h. Hkakaborazi National Park

  • Location - In the foothills of the Himalayas in northern Kachin State.
  • Highest snow-capped mountain in Southeast Asia with 19269 feet (5881 meter)
  • Important watershed area for Myanmar lifeline Ayeyarwady river
  • Forest type – Evergreen forest, Hill pine forest, moist upper deciduous forest
  • Wild Life – Rare species of Takin, Musk deer, blue sheep, Black barking deer plus numerous kind of mammal species, insects, birds and butterflies
  • Indigenous tribe – Last remaining Tarong tribe with about 4 feet in height

dvm109i. Phongun Razi Wild Life Sanctuary

  • Location – Putao District, Northern Myanmar
  • 3485 meters above sea is the most suitable peak to climb among the many peaks in the region. The remoteness and inaccessibility of the region has helped to maintain the pristine purity of it forest and eco-system
  • Wild Life - Numerous kind of wild animal, butterflies and birds including endemic birds like White-Billed Herons and Wreathed Hornbills.

dvm119j. Lumpi Marine National Park

  • Location - Kawthaung district, Tannintharyi Division, Southern, Myanmar
  • More than 800 islands, covering about 14,000 sq miles (36,000 sq km). Most of the area remains unexplored.
  • The Archipelago has incredibly diverse flora and fauna above and under water. Various mangroves, wild life, caves, lagoons, fresh water falls and river in the forest.
  • Perfectly designed for Adventure tours and eco-tourism

dvm129k. Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Location - Bogalay Township, Ayeyarwady Division.
  • Area 620.35 square miles
  • Year of establishment - 1941
  • Opened as a national park in 1984
  • Forest type - Mangrove species such as Kanazo, Madama, Thame, Thayaw, Kambala, Thinbaung, etc
  • Wildlife – Otter, samber, hog deer, wild boar, crab eating kra, turtle, tortoises, estuarine crocodiles, fishs, prawns and crabs etc.
  • Bird - 34 species of residential birds and 12 species of butterflies

dvm139l. Myaing Hay Wun Elephant Camp

  • Location - Taikkyi Township, Yangon Division.
  • Year of establishment – 1986
  • Wildlife - Elephant, Gaur, Benteng, Barking Deer, Wild boar, Hare Wild cat, Green Peafowl, Hill myna, Pheasant, Red jungle fowl, Quail, lesser tree duck, Butterflies, Moths, Snakes, Monitar lizard, Ground lizard, Grass lizard and Chameleon
  • Study of capture and train process of wild elephant

dvm149m. Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve

  • Location - Tanaing Township, Kachin State, Northern Myanmar.
  • Ledo Road (Stillwell Road) transverses the area.
  • Year of establishment - 1999
  • Upgraded as Tiger Reserve - 2004
  • Total land area - 6000 sq miles
  • Estimate 80-100 wild tigers, so far 2 tigers have been caught on trap camera among with other animals. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) made 2 field trips: 1999 and 2001. The latest field trip led by Dr. Tony Lynam was in 2002 composed of personnel from Forest Dept and WCS. Start from Tanaing using 1942 vintage maps. Set up trap cameras at likely sites. 15 miles from Tanaing at a stream. 6 cameras were set up. The cameras also captured pictures of 32 other animals 

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