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Home > Main Library > Environment > The environment of Burma/Myanmar > Description of the environment of Burma/Myanmar > The fauna of Burma/Myanmar > Threats to the fauna of Burma

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Threats to the fauna of Burma

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Search for "Myanmar" on the Traffick website
Description/subject: "TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature"...85 results for Myanmar (February 2009); 66 results (March 2012)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Traffick
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2009

Individual Documents

Title: Endangered Wild Elephant in Megatha Forest, Karen State, Burma
Date of publication: 01 August 2011
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "A team of ethnic Karen researchers from the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) has undertaken this study to begin documentation of the wild elephant population and rich biodiversity in Megatha Forest (also known as Megatha Wildlife Sanctuary) in a corner of Karen State that is part of the elephants’ native habitat. The report describes the method and results of the wild elephant survey in Megatha Forest by a cooperative team of researchers made up of stakeholders, including KESAN, the Dooplaya Forest Department staff, and local villagers. The research took place from May 2008 to November 2010. The study area includes lowland, hills and valleys, with elevations from about 400 meters to 1052 meters. The forest in the area can be categorized as semi-evergreen, mix-deciduous, meadows and bamboo dominated forests, which vary from slightly disturbed to undisturbed. This forest is under the local administration of Karen Forest Department, Dooplaya District Offi ce, but direct threats to wild elephants and other wildlife remain, in large part due to civil war in Burma and industrial resource extraction. In this study, we used both primary survey and secondary survey research techniques. The primary research method is to survey and collect data by direct sighting of the species through personal encounters and evidence of presence. For primary data collation, we prepared forms for each of the surveyors to fi ll out during their survey days. We recorded the evidence both with eye contact and evidence auch as tracks, feces, sleeping sites, and vocalizations. Secondary survey and data collection involved interviewing local experts, forest offi cers, hunters and poachers. We selected many different kinds of people in the communities to share their knowledge of wild elephants and other animal populations. We probed the threat status, wildlife trade, and confl icts affecting wildlife, using both structured and semi-structured interviews. The elephant population is not very large so the surveyors had diffi culty estimating the population through direct observation. The total number of wild elephants found to reside in this forest is estimated to be 15 individuals. There are also many other kinds of large animals in this forest, but only some could be recorded by the team because the focus was primarily on elephants. Further study of large animals in Karen State in encouraged, with KESAN offering willing assistance. The fi eld surveys also recorded 60 other species, including 27 mammals, 23 birds, 8 reptiles and 5 amphibians. Out of 60 species, 9 are listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List, 7 are Vulnerable, and 6 are Near Threatened. With this accounting, it can be seen that the Megatha Forest provides a good example of an intact ecosystem, but because 22 out of 60 species are at risk, the forest faces signifi cant threats. These threats, including ongoing war and militarization and accelerating natural resource exploitation, may seriously degrade the Megatha Forest. Logging and mining permitted by the Burmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and its Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) are rapidly depleting the remaining natural forest in the area, leading to the loss of at least one severely endangered species, the Sumatran rhinoceros. Therefore, KESAN makes the following recommendations to conserve Megatha Forest: 1. Do not seek war. 2. Do not allow logging and mining. 3. Do not allow rubber plantations that will result in forest encroachment. 4. Strict enforcement of poaching laws."
Author/creator: Saw Blaw Htoo, Martin Bergoffen, Saw Wee Eh Htoo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
Format/size: pdf (4.4MB)
Alternate URLs: http://kesan.asia/index.php/program-and-activitie/wildlife-and-biodiversity-conservation/158-short-...
Date of entry/update: 16 August 2011

Title: Freshwater turtles in “catastrophic decline”
Date of publication: 16 September 2010
Description/subject: A per­fect storm of hab­i­tat loss, hunt­ing and a pet trade is dec­i­mat­ing the world’s fresh­wa­ter tur­tle popula­t­ions, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis from wild­life pro­tec­tion group Con­serva­t­ion In­terna­t­ional. Ur­gent ac­tion is needed to save the rep­tiles, say re­search­ers af­fil­i­at­ed with the Ar­ling­ton, Va.-based or­gan­iz­a­tion. A drop in many of the world’s tur­tle spe­cies, they add, is ev­i­dence that mis­man­age­ment of vi­tal fresh­wa­ter ecosys­tems is caus­ing deep and da­m­ag­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts that will af­fect peo­ple and wild­life alik
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/news/11-news/443-freshwater-turtles-in-catastrophic-decline.html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: Tyrants, Tycoons and Tigers
Date of publication: 25 August 2010
Description/subject: Summary: "A bitter land struggle is unfolding in northern Burma’s remote Hugawng Valley. Farmers that have been living for generations in the valley are defying one of the country’s most powerful tycoons as his company establishes massive mono-crop plantations in what happens to be the world’s largest tiger reserve. The Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve in Kachin State was declared by the Myanmar* Government in 2001 with the support of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society. In 2004 the reserve’s designation was expanded to include the entire valley of 21,890 square kilometers (8,452 square miles), making it the largest tiger reserve in the world. Today a 200,000 acre mono-crop plantation project is making a mockery of the reserve’s protected status. Fleets of tractors, backhoes, and bulldozers rip up forests, raze bamboo groves and fl atten existing small farms. Signboards that mark animal corridors and “no hunting zones” stand out starkly against a now barren landscape; they are all that is left of conservation efforts. Application of chemical fertilizers and herbicides together with the daily toil of over two thousand imported workers are transforming the area into huge tapioca, sugar cane, and jatropha plantations. In 2006 Senior General Than Shwe, Burma’s ruling despot, granted the Rangoon-based Yuzana Company license to develop this “agricultural development zone” in the tiger reserve. Yuzana Company is one of Burma’s largest businesses and is chaired by U Htay Myint, a prominent real estate tycoon who has close connections with the junta. Local villagers tending small scale farms in the valley since before it was declared a reserve have seen their crops destroyed and their lands confi scated. Confl icts between Yuzana Company employees, local authorities, and local residents have fl ared up and turned violent several times over the past few years, culminating with an attack on residents of Ban Kawk village in 2010. As of February 2010, 163 families had been forced into a relocation site where there is little water and few fi nished homes. Since then, through further threats and intimidation, * The current military regime changed the country’s name to Myanmar in 1989 1 others families have been forced to take “compensation funds” which are insuffi cient to begin a new life and leave them destitute. Despite the powerful interests behind the Yuzana project, villagers have been bravely standing up to protect their farmlands and livelihoods. They have sent numerous formal appeals to the authorities, conducted prayer ceremonies, tried to reclaim their fi elds, refused to move, and defended their homes. The failure of various government offi cials to reply to or resolve the problem fi nally led the villagers to reach out to the United Nations and the National League for Democracy in Burma. In March 2010 representatives of three villages fi led written requests to the International Labor Organization to investigate the actions of Yuzana. In July 2010, over 100 farmers opened a joint court case in Kachin State. Although the villagers in Yuzana’s project area have been ignored at every turn, they remain determined to seek a just solution to the problems in Hugawng. As Burma’s military rulers prepare for their 2010 “election,” local residents hold no hope for change from a new constitution that only legalizes the status quo and the military’s placement above the law. Companies such as Yuzana that have close military connections are set to play an increasing role in the economy and will also remain above the law. The residents of Hugawng Valley are thus at the frontline of protecting not only their own lands and environment but also the rights of all of Burma’s farmers. The Kachin Development Networking Group stands fi rmly with these communities and therefore calls on Yuzana to stop their project implementation to avoid any further citizens’ rights abuses and calls on all Kachin communities and leaders to work together with Hugawng villagers in their brave struggle."
Language: English and the other EU languages
Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG)
Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.kdng.org/publication/68-tyrants-tycoons-and-tigers.html
Date of entry/update: 25 August 2010

Title: A Valley of Tigers
Date of publication: 04 August 2010
Description/subject: In the northernmost stretches of Myanmar, a valley exists where tigers can just be tigers. Country officials have declared the entire Hukaung Valley a Protected Tiger Area. With 8,452 square miles in which to roam, hunt, and hopefully breed, the region’s remaining tigers have a chance too few of their kind currently enjoy.
Language: English
Source/publisher: News and Periodical Enterprise, Ministry of Information, Union of Myanmar
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.wcs.org/new-and-noteworthy/a-valley-of-tigers.aspx
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: "Undercurrents" - Monitoring Development on Burma's Mekong - Issue 3
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: this issue focuses on how the expanding influence of Chinese interests in the Golden Triangle region, from rubber plantations to wildlife trading, is bringing rapid destructive changes to local communities. There are also articles on opium cultivation, mining operations, the mainstream Mekong dams in China, and unprecedented flooding downstream..... Mekong Biodiversity Up for Sale: A new hub of wildlife trade and a network of direct buyers from China is hastening the pace of species loss... Rubber Mania: Scrambling to supply China, can ordinary farmers benefit?... Drug Country: Another opium season in eastern Shan State sees increased cultivation, mulitple cropping and a new form of an old drug... Construction Steams Ahead: A photo essay from the Nouzhadu Dam, one of the eight planned on the mainstream Mekong in China... Digging for Riches: An update on mining operations in eastern Shan State... Washed Out: Unprecedented flooding wreaks havoc in the Golden Triangle.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (3.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/undercurrentsissue3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2009

Title: Khoe Kay: Biodiversity in Peril
Date of publication: July 2008
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "A team of Karen researchers from the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network has undertaken this study to begin documentation of the rich biodiversity of Khoe Kay, a bend in the Salween River that is part of their homeland. They also want to document and expose the severe threats faced by this stretch of the Salween, both from large dams and ongoing militarization. Using methods of their own culture, as well as those used in university research, they have found that Khoe Kay is studded with both plant and animal diversity, with 194 plant species and 200 animals identified. Forty-two of these species are considered endangered, being found in IUCN's Redlist, the CITES Appendices, or both. Thus, conservation of the area will protect many globally important resources. Endemic and unknown species are also represented, with eight endemic fish species of particular interest. Also, many of the plants and animals unknown to Western science are used by the Karen for food and medicine, providing opportunities for further research. Furthermore, several entire taxa, such as mollusks, spiders and fungi, have been treated very lightly if at all in this report, so the reader is encouraged to undertake further study with assistance from KESAN. Lying on the riverine border of Thailand and Burma, the area is relatively untrammeled. Teak trees dominate, and therefore Khoe Kay provides a window into the biodiversity of the entire region prior to industrial development. Threats from proposed large dams and militarization may seriously degrade Khoe Kay. With dams, the main concerns are greenhouse gas emissions, loss of fisheries, cumulative effects of several cascading dams, and flow changes and sedimentation. Militarization of the area is also increasing, having already resulted in the loss of one severely endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
Format/size: pdf (5.9MB - original; 4.7MB - burmalibrary version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/2008_009_24_khoekay-b.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2009

Title: Goodbye to the Butterflies
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: How greedy loggers are destroying Mount Popa’s natural wonders... "First it was the tigers. Then came the fish of Burma’s rivers and polluted Inle Lake. Now Burma is losing its butterflies. Mount Popa, in the Myin Gyan District of Mandalay Division, is an extinct volcano best known as the revered abode of spirits known as nats and a nationally famous place of pilgrimage. Less well-known is its importance as the habitat of some of the world’s rarest butterflies, including the beautiful Shwe Hnget Taung (biological name: Taoides aceacus). A Burmese Forest Ministry report in 1982 listed around 100 species of butterfly on Mount Popa. This number had dropped to 60 when Mount Popa’s Environment and Wild Animals Conservation Department conducted a survey in 2000. Seven years later, researchers found only 32—and no Shwe Hnget Taung..."
Author/creator: Kyi Wai
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008

Title: Elephant and Ivory Trade in Myanmar
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Myanmar has been a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1997. Illegal trade in ivory and other Asian Elephant Elephas maximus products remains widespread, especially in markets along Myanmar's international borders. In 2006, TRAFFIC surveyed 14 markets in Myanmar and three border markets in Thailand and China, and found some 9000 pieces of ivory and 16 whole tusks for sale, representing the ivory of an estimated 116 bulls. Illegal killing and capture of elephants for trade continues to be a major cause of decline for Myanmar's wild Asian Elephant populations. Ivory and other elephant parts are routinely smuggled out of Myanmar in contravention of the Protection of Wildlife and Wild Plants and Conservation of Natural Areas Law (State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No.583/94.1994), suggesting a serious lack of law enforcement and a blatant disregard for international conventions and national laws. The fact that retail dealers openly display ivory and other elephant parts, and rarely hesitate in disclosing smuggling techniques and other illegal activities with potential buyers, further highlights that effective law enforcement is lacking. The observed and reported levels of cross-border trade indicate that neighbouring countries, especially China and Thailand, also have enforcement problems, and that illegal international trade is frequently carried out with minimal risk of detection. In addition to trade in ivory, TRAFFIC documents reports of some 250 live Asian Elephants being exported from Myanmar to neighbouring countries in the last ten years; this is mostly to supply the demand of tourist locations in neighbouring Thailand. It is important to note that no cross-border exports or imports of live elephants have been reported to CITES by either Myanmar or Thailand. Based on observations and discussions with interviewees, the capture of live elephants may be at such a rate that it is also having a negative impact on wild populations..."
Author/creator: Chris R. Shepherd, Vincent Nijman
Language: English
Source/publisher: TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
Format/size: pdf (1.34MB)
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2009

Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "A total of 1320 wild cat parts, representing an absolute minimum of 1158 individual animals were observed during 12 surveys carried out in Myanmar (formerly Burma) between 1991 and 2006. These parts represented all eight species of wild cats found in Myanmar. Under Myanmar's Protection of Wild Life and Wild Plants and Conservation of Natural Areas Law (State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No.583/94.1994) only five of eight species of native wild cats are protected. Large numbers of parts from totally protected cat species were observed openly displayed for sale during these surveys. Protected species (Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata, Asiatic Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii) were offered in similar numbers as non-protected species (Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverinnus, Leopard Cat P. bengalensis, Jungle Cat Felis chaus), but species that are globally threatened are offered in significantly larger numbers than non-threatened species. This, and the frankness of the dealers, suggests a serious lack of enforcement effort to prevent this illegal trade, and highlights the threat that trade poses to already threatened species. Three of the four markets surveyed were situated on international borders, catering to international buyers. Myanmar is a signatory to the Convention on international Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), prohibiting any cross-border trade of cat species (including their parts and derivatives) listed in CITES Appendix I, and requiring permits for export of species listed in Appendix II. Dealers openly acknowledge that the trade is illegal and give suggestions on how to smuggle these contraband wildlife products across borders. No dealers indicated that they were able to trade any of these specimens legally. According to the CITES trade database managed by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), no cats of any species have been legally exported from Myanmar since becoming a Party to the Convention in 1997..."
Author/creator: Chris R. Shepherd, Vincent Nijman
Language: English
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2009

Title: Looking for a Good Catch? Ask the Irrawaddy Dolphin
Date of publication: 04 August 2006
Description/subject: For fishermen on the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar, the key to a good day’s catch isn’t bait or tackle; it’s a dolphin. The Irrawaddy dolphin has a knack for herding fish into nets; and that knack can increase the size of the fishermen’s catch by threefold. In turn, the endangered dolphins are paid for their services with a fish dinner—and, more important, the friendship of their human neighbors and guardians. This unique cultural tradition protects both a critically endangered wildlife population and a sustainable, local livelihood.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wildlife Conversation Society
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.wcs.org/where-we-work/asia/myanmar.aspx
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: Myanmar Investment Opportunities in Biodiversity Conservation
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Due in part to decades of economic and political isolation, Myanmar supports some of the most intact natural habitats and species communities remaining in the "Indo-Myanmar Hotspot", as well as many endemic and globally threatened species. It represents a unique opportunity to invest in a country at a stage when it is still possible to avoid the patterns of degradation and loss of natural ecosystems that have been witnessed elsewhere in south and Southeast Asia. This document is based upon the results of two stakeholder workshops held in Yangon in 2003 and 2004 when over 30 stakeholders from NGOs, academic institutions, government institutions and donor agencies attempted to reach multi-stakeholder consensus on geographic, taxonomic and thematic priorities for biodiversity conservation in Myanmar. It identifies biological targets set by these stakeholders for 144 globally threatened species in Myanmar and sets out 76 key biodiversity areas (KBAs) and 15 conservation corridors that link many of these sites in order to facilitate long-term conservation of the country's threatened species. The text is mainly English in but there is a useful introduction in Burmese. Excellent illustrations, charts, tables maps. Unfortunately, the online version omits the final segment of the original printed version.
Author/creator: Andrew W Tordoff, Jonathan C. Eames, Karin Eberhardt, Michael C. Baltzer, Peter Davidson, Peter Leimgruber, U Uga, U Aung Than
Language: Mainly in English with an introduction in Burmese
Source/publisher: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund; Bird Life International in Indochina; UNDP
Format/size: pdf (3.0 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://birdlifeindochina.org/content/myanmar-investment-opportunities-biodiversity-conservation
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: MITHUNS SACRIFICED TO GREED - The Forest Ox of Burma's Chins
Date of publication: February 2004
Description/subject: "This report is a brief summary of information about the mithun, a type of domesticated bovine found in the Himalayan foothills of South/Southeast Asia, particularly addressing its situation in the Chin State of Burma. The spelling "mithun" (accurate in terms of pronunciation) is used here for the bovine species Bos frontalis, although "mithan" is also a common spelling, and "mythun" is another spelling in use. This name probably came from Assamese dialects. The Chin people, one of the Zo ethnic groups, who live in western Burma, call these animals "sia." Mithuns are also known as "gayals" in India. This report is by no means a comprehensive or scientific document on mithuns. It is inspired by accounts of mithun confiscation and commercialization of mithun raising in the Chin State. It is intended as an alert about the present situation of this particular mammal in this particular area. Under Burma's military dictatorship, the Chin people have been subjected to numerous human rights violations, including religious persecution. Most Chins are Christians, with Animist traditions. Their relationship to the mithun has strong elements of remaining Animist culture. The Chins' mountain forest environment has been in jeopardy in recent years, as Burma's military regime carries out logging and unsustainable harvest of forest products, and promotes plantation agriculture..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2004

Title: On The Wild Side
Date of publication: June 2003
Description/subject: "Preserving Burma’s forests and wildlife is a pursuit that goes beyond politics... On his first expedition into the forests of northern Burma, Alan Rabinowitz and his team traveled 100 miles down the Chindwin River and then hiked for several days into the heart of Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary. There he began to hunt for signs of tigers, elephants, and the rare Sumatran rhino. Like many conservationists, he believed that Burma’s forests contain Southeast Asia’s healthiest wildlife populations. But he found Htamanthi’s forests strangely empty. The next day his team met two Lisu hunters who admitted that they came each year for wildlife parts—tiger bones, bear gall bladders, even rhino horns before the animal disappeared—to sell to Chinese traders. "That’s indicative of what’s going on across the country," Rabinowitz says, as he sits down for an interview outside a camp shelter in Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park. "Despite the beautiful amounts of forest, the wildlife is getting hammered."..."
Author/creator: Chris Tenove
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" vol. 11, No. 5
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=2946
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2003

Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: In 1999, the Myanmar Forest Department commissioned a study to determine the current status and distribution of tigers, and formulate an updated national strategy for their future management and conservation. The document ?A National Tiger Action Plan for the Union of Myanmar? is the end product of a three-year program conducted jointly by the Myanmar Forest Department and the Wildlife Conservation Society with funding from the US National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and ExxonMobile?s ?Save The Tiger Fund?. The Plan details what is needed to save Myanmar?s tigers from extinction and so provides a valuable prospectus for future conservation. It will become a part of the Myanmar forest policy for recovery of the species. U Shwe Kyaw: Director-General, Forest Department, Myanmar Ministry of Forestry
Author/creator: Antony J. Lynam Ph.D
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society & Myanmar Forest Department, Ministry of Forestry, Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (3.28MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.wcs.org/media/file/NTAPcomplete.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Date of publication: 27 February 2002
Description/subject: This report, originally published in 2000, describes the first two years of the tiger survey in Burma that eventually resulted in the formulation of the National Tiger Action Plan. It contains valuable details and attachments not found in the final report of the three year study.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Windlife conservation Society & Ministry of Forestry,Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (454KB)
Date of entry/update: 08 January 2005

Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: Keywords: Burmese elephants, Burma. I. THE ASIAN ELEPHANT: A. Cultural; B. Ecological and Conservation Issues; C. Conservation Measures... II. BUDDHISM AND DEEP ECOLOGY: A. Need for Spiritual Approach; B. Buddhism; C. Deep Ecology; D. Wildlife (poaching); E. Forest Protection (D and E are considered the two major elephant threats)... III. DHAMMA/ECOLOGY GLOSSARY... IV. APPENDIX: DHAMMA/DEEP ECOLOGY EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES... " Dr. Henning’s resource guide, which combines Buddhist principles and Asian elephant conservation in Myanmar, is an innovative approach to Asian elephant conservation. I have never seen someone with a biological background such as Dr. Henning’s attempt this approach in such a clear, concise manner. I found the resource guide to be an excellent potential teaching tool not only for Myanmar but also for any Buddhist country in which elephant conservation is an issue. I could easily envision this guide as the first in a series of written materials that deals with such conservation issues, perhaps beyond elephants. I would think that any individuals or agencies interested in conserving Asian elephants would be interested in this guide and would want to help make it available to a wider audience."... "The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), an endangered species listed in Appendix I of CITIES, is thought to number between 34,000 to 56,000 in thirteen Asian countries. According to U Uga, there are less than 4,000 elephants in the wild in Myanmar, which has the largest population in the ASEAN countries (India has a larger population for the continent). The total Asian elephant population is less than 10 percent of its more glamorous cousin-the African elephant. The Myanmar elephant is internationally endangered and is regarded as a worldwide flagship species. Throughout their range states, the wild elephant is severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and fragmentation into small isolated groups. Many population biologists believe that nowhere in Asia is there a single wild population large enough to avoid inbreeding over the long term. ..."
Author/creator: Daniel H. Henning PhD
Language: English
Source/publisher: Daniel H. Henning
Format/size: pdf (832K)
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2004

Title: The Trade of Elephants and Elephant Parts in Myanmar.
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus was listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the first Conference of the Parties (CoP1) in 1976. At the same time, the African Elephant Loxodonta africana was placed on CITES Appendix II, but with the rapid decline in wild populations during the 1970s and 1980s, was up-listed to CITES Appendix I in 1989 – thereby affecting a ban on all commercial trade of elephants, their products and derivatives. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, acceded to CITES in 1997. It has the second largest population of wild Asian Elephants (after India) and the largest number of domesticated elephants in Asia. Myanmar has a long tradition of using domesticated elephants, thought to number as many as 6000-7000 in 1997, as working animals for the logging industry. In 1995, Myanmar banned the capture of wild elephants although some sources indicate that capture still continues. This report was produced as a component activity under the WWF initiative known as the Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategies (AREAS), to better understand the trade dynamics in Asian Elephants, ivory and elephant derivatives in Myanmar. Myanmar has a long history of ivory carving, with artisans learning several distinct techniques or styles in order to be considered an accomplished ivory carver or master. This tradition continues today, despite lower availability of ivory but as domestic use of elephant products is negligible and ivory, for the most part, is not purchased by locals, the continued production of worked ivory is believed to supply predominantly foreign market demand. Myanmar's legislation allows trade of products derived from domesticated elephants, which creates a potential loophole in which wild-caught elephants and elephant parts from Myanmar, as well as other countries, could be "laundered". Enforcement agencies are not capable of determining the actual source of elephant products, and are therefore unable to prosecute. This loophole appears to be knowingly exploited by traders. The results of the survey team's work in Myanmar showed that trade in ivory still continues, involving both domestic and imported sources. Traders openly acknowledge that ivory is being imported from India and other source countries, but the exact quantities are unknown. Myanmar's increasing popularity as a destination for visitors on business and tourist itineraries has exposed the country to a range of potential buyers for these products. Exports of worked ivory are known to be routed out of Myanmar into Thailand, and dealers reported that buyers from Japan, Taiwan, China, Italy, and Germany, in addition to Thailand, are among the biggest purchasers of ivory when visiting Myanmar. Enforcement at official border crossings between Myanmar and India, China, Thailand, Bangladesh and Lao PDR remains severely lacking, and is not believed to operate at all for the more informal border crossing points. This report makes the following recommendations to better enforce legislation in place to protect elephants and to control the trade of elephants and their parts and derivatives: 1. TRAFFIC Southeast Asia should continue to monitor the trade in Asian Elephant products in Myanmar, especially at key exit locations such as Tachilek. Information gathered during monitoring activities should be passed on to the relevant authorities. Enforcement agencies in Myanmar, as well as from neighbouring countries, should be encouraged to act upon information given to them and be encouraged to take further actions against the illegal trade. The Trade of Elephants and Elephant Products in Myanmar i 2. Implementation of national legislation needs to be reviewed and weaknesses addressed. TRAFFIC is in a good position to begin dialogue with the CITES Management Authority in Myanmar, to explore the needs of the country to improve its legislation, and enforcement thereof, relating to elephant conservation and trade in elephants and their products. 3. Authorities in India should be made aware of the fact that ivory is being smuggled out of India into Myanmar and appropriate action should be taken to address this. 4. Authorities in Thailand should be made aware of the fact that ivory continues to be smuggled into Thailand for sale. Thailand's enforcement agencies should be encouraged to increase efforts to prevent wildlife from being smuggled into Thailand from Myanmar through increased surveillance of border markets and key trans-boundary supply routes. The Trade of Elephants and Elephant Products in Myanmar."
Author/creator: Shepherd, Chris R.
Language: English
Source/publisher: TRAFFIC International.
Format/size: pdf (500K)
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2009

Title: Landmines: a New Victim
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: Elephants are becoming the latest victims of landmines planted along the war-torn Thai-Burma border.
Author/creator: Helen Anderson
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Myanmar Officially Designates World’s Largest Tiger Reserve in the Hukaung Valley
Description/subject: "Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society succeed in pushing historic agreement to conserve region the size of Vermont that is home to a number of endangered species " Hukaung Valley – Officials from Myanmar formally announced today that the entire Hukaung Valley would be declared a Protected Tiger Area. The declaration officially protects an area the size of Vermont and marks a major step forward in saving one of the most endangered species on the planet – the tiger – which numbers less than 3,000 in the wild.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wildlife Conversation Society
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 September 2010