Mammals conservation in Myanmar

Myanmar has 49 Globally Threatened mammal species as well as 16 Near-Threatened and 26 Data Deficient mammal species. This assessment considers Myanmar’s diverse marine mammal fauna as well as its terrestrial fauna. Of these species 19 have been chosen as priorities based on the criteria outlined above.

Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis and Javan Rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus are listed as Critically Endangered but are probably extinct in Myanmar (Rabinowitz et al. 1995; Choudhury 1997; Rabinowitz & Saw Tun Khaing 1998). Although occasional reports of rhinos are still heard none of these has been substantiated. There are a few pockets of forest that remain off limits because of security concerns and these areas should be surveyed when it is safe to do so. However, discussions with key stakeholders suggest that both species appear to have gone from all accessible areas of suitable habitat. Another species, Indian Water Buffalo Bubalus arnee is listed, as Endangered but it is unclear if any truly wild population still exists. This species has had considerable overlap with the widespread domesticated form of this species and all remaining populations may descend, at least in part, from feral domestic animals rather than truly wild ones (Hedges et al. 2008; Aryal et al. 2011).

The recently described Myanmar Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri is a recently discovered species from the mountains near the Chinese border in eastern Kachin State. This species is considered Critically Endangered, making it the only Critically Endangered mammal still confirmed to be extant in the country (Geissmann et al. 2010). This species is the subject of intensive research and its small known global range is being proposed for protected area status. Two other restricted range primates Shortridge’s Langur Trachypithecus shortridgei, and Western Hoolock Gibbon Hoolock hoolock are considered in need of more directed conservation action although there are ongoing programs in portions of their known range (Mittermeier et al. 2007; Ngwe Lwin et al. 2011). A third species Tenasserim Lutung Trachypithecus barbei is currently considered Data Deficient although its small known range and limited numbers of recent field sightings suggest that it is likely to be Globally Threatened once it can be assessed and is therefore included as a current priority (Geissmann et al. 2004).

Two species that might turn out to be widespread but are presently known from very few recent records across the country are Hog Deer Axis porcinus and Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus. These species occur in non-forested areas usually outside existing protected areas and have possibly been under recorded by recent fieldwork. Specific conservation action targeting these species and their fragmented habitats is urgently needed (Than Zaw et al. in prep).

Another two species, Banteng Bos javanicus and Eld’s Deer Rucervus eldii are tied almost exclusively in the country to the deciduous forests of central Myanmar (Mcshea et al. 2001). Both species have been heavily hunted and have seriously fragmented populations. Populations of both species have not been assessed recently (Myint Aung et al. 2001).

The two species of pangolin found in the country: Sunda Pangolin Manis javanica and Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla are severely threatened by intensive harvesting for trade to China. This is occurring across the entire species range and it is likely that much of the Myanmar population has already been significantly reduced (Duckworth et al. 2008).

Asian Small-clawed Otter Aonyx cinerea and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata are currently listed as Vulnerable, while a third species Hairy-nosed Otter Lutra sumatrana is listed as Endangered. These species have been harvested primarily for their fur, which was used for traditional clothing by ethnic Tibetan communities in China. Recent reports indicate that this trade may be declining, but otter populations have already been almost eradicated across much of the country (Rao et al. 2005; Than Zaw et al. 2008; Rao et al. 2010).

In the eastern Himalayas in the far north of the country the species of greatest concern is the Black Musk deer Moschus fuscus which is heavily poached and traded for medicinal use in China. According to local reports this species has been heavily hunted across northern Myanmar and is now rarely encountered (Rao et al. 2011).

In the marine realm Irrawaddy Dolphin Orcaella brevirostris and Dugong Dugong dugon are both considered priorities. The dolphin has an inland population on the Irrawaddy River that is already receiving intensive conservation support but coastal populations are still in need of action (Han Win 2012). The Dugong has also had a few short-term surveys looking at its sea grass habitat but is yet to receive any directed conservation action (Ilangakoon & Tint Tun 2007).

Two other species that are at risk across the Indo-Burma Hotspot are considered as priorities for Myanmar. Asian Elephant Elephas maximus is still widespread across the country in small, decreasing populations. This species, like elsewhere in the region, is of great cultural value to the country and significant numbers of wild caught animals are still domesticated annually (WCS 2011). Tiger Panthera tigris is perhaps the greatest recipient of current conservation funding although even this considerable investment is not succeeding in conserving them. The Tiger population in Myanmar has been drastically reduced due to direct poaching, prey depletion and habitat loss in recent years and only two or three small populations are believed to persist (Lynam et al. 2009; MOECAF 2010; Myint Maung 2011).

Threatened Mammal species in Myanmar

Scientific Name Common name Status RedList
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis Sumatran Rhinoceros CR Link
Rhinoceros sondaicus Javan Rhinoceros CR Link
Rhinopithecus strykeri Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkey CR Link
Axis porcinus Hog Deer EN Link
Bos javanicus Banteng EN Link
Bubalus arnee Indian Water Buffalo EN Link
Cuon alpines Dhole EN Link
Elephas maximus Asian Elephant EN Link
Hapalomys longicaudatus Greater Marmoset Rat EN Link
Hoolock hoolock Western Hoolock Gibbon EN Link
Hylobates lar Lar Gibbon EN Link
Lutra sumatrana Hairy-nosed Otter EN Link
Manis javanica Sunda Pangolin EN Link
Manis pentadactyla Chinese Pangolin EN Link
Moschus fuscus Black Musk Deer EN Link
Panthera tigris Tiger EN Link
Prionailurus viverrinus Fishing Cat EN Link
Rucervus eldii Eld’s Deer EN Link
Tapirus indicus Malayan Tapir EN Link
Trachypithecus germaini Indochinese Lutung EN Link
Trachypithecus phayrei Phayre’s Leaf-monkey EN Link
Trachypithecus shortridgei Shortridge’s Langur EN Link
Ailurus fulgens Red Panda VU Link
Aonyx cinerea Asian Small-clawed Otter VU Link
Arctictis binturong Binturong VU Link
Bos gaurus Gaur VU Link
Budorcas taxicolor Takin VU Link
Craseonycteris thonglongyai Hog-nosed Bat VU Link
Helarctos malayanus Sun Bear VU Link
Hemigalus derbyanus Banded Civet VU Link
Hoolock leuconedys Eastern Hoolock Gibbon VU Link
Lutrogale perspicillata Smooth-coated Otter VU Link
Macaca arctoides Stump-tailed Macaque VU Link
Macaca leonina Northern Pig-tailed Macaque VU Link
Naemorhedus baileyi Red Goral VU Link
Naemorhedus griseus Chinese Goral VU Link
Neofelis nebulosa Clouded Leopard VU Link
Nycticebus bengalensis Bengal Slow Loris VU Link
Pardofelis marmorata Marbled Cat VU Link
Petinomys setosus Temminck’s Flying Squirrel VU Link
Petinomys vordermanni Vordermann’s Flying Squirrel VU Link
Rusa unicolor Sambar VU Link
Trachypithecus pileatus Capped Langur VU Link
Ursus thibetanus Himalayan Black Bear VU Link
Viverra megaspila Large-spotted Civet VU Link
Arctonyx collaris Hog Badger Link
Callosciurus quinquestriatus Anderson’s Squirrel Link
Capricornis milneedwardsii Southwest China Serow Link
Capricornis rubidus Red Serow Link
Elaphodus cephalophus Tufted Deer Link
Lutra lutra Eurasian Otter Link
Macaca assamensis Assam Macaque Link
Nycteris tragata Malayan Slit-faced Bat Link
Panthera pardus Leopard Link
Pardofelis temminckii Asiatic Golden Cat Link
Presbytis femoralis Banded Surili Link
Pteropus vampyrus Large Flying-fox Link
Ratufa bicolor Black Giant Squirrel Link
Trachypithecus obscurus Dusky Leaf-monkey Link
Viverra zibetha Large Indian Civet Link
Belomys pearsonii Hairy-footed Flying Squirrel DD Link
Berylmys mackenziei Kenneth’s White-toothed Rat DD Link
Berylmys manipulus Manipur White-toothed Rat DD Link
Diomys crumpi Crump’s Mouse DD Link
Eudiscopus denticulus Disk-footed Bat DD Link
Harpiocephalus mordax Greater Hairy-winged Bat DD Link
Hipposideros grandis Grand Leaf-nosed Bat DD Link
Melogale personata Large-toothed Ferret Badger DD Link
Muntiacus feae Fea’s Muntjac DD Link
Muntiacus gongshanensis Gongshan Muntjac DD Link
Muntiacus putaoensis Leaf Muntjac DD Link
Neodon forresti Forrest’s Mountain Vole DD Link
Pipistrellus anthonyi Anthony’s Pipistrelle DD Link
Pipistrellus joffrei Joffre’s Pipistrelle DD Link
Pipistrellus lophurus Burmese Pipistrelle DD Link
Pteropus intermedius Andersen’s Flying Fox DD Link
Trachypithecus barbei Tenasserim Lutung DD Link

Marine mammal species

Scientific Name Common name Status RedList
Balaenoptera musculus Blue Whale EN Link
Dugong dugon Dugong EN Link
Neophocaena phocaenoides Finless Porpoise VU Link
Orcaella brevirostris Irrawaddy Dolphin VU Link
Sousa chinensis Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin Link
Balaenoptera edeni Bryde’s Whale DD Link
Feresa attenuata Pygmy Killer Whale DD Link
Globicephala macrorhynchus Short-finned Pilot Whale DD Link
Kogia breviceps Pygmy Sperm Whale DD Link
Kogia sima Dwarf Sperm Whale DD Link
Mesoplodon densirostris Blainville’s Beaked Whale DD Link
Orcinus orca Killer Whale DD Link
Pseudorca crassidens False Killer Whale DD Link
Stenella longirostris Spinner Dolphin DD Link
Tursiops aduncus Indo-pacific Bottlenose Dolphin DD Link
By | 2017-05-19T09:58:13+00:00 January 12th, 2014|Wildlife, Mammals|0 Comments

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