Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia to the east of India and Bangladesh. The country has a great diversity of wildlife that is protected within the limits of the nine national parks of the country. These are as follows:
9. Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park -
This national park of Myanmar is located in the country’s Sagaing Division. It was designated as a national park in 1984 by the government of Burma. The park now encompasses a massive area of 1,605 square km. The area of the park accommodates the upper catchment basins of three rivers. Two biomes can be found here, the temperate coniferous and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. The national park hosts a great diversity of fauna which includes Asian elephants, brown bear, barking deer, clouded leopard, gaur, muntjac, civets, etc. A great variety of birds, reptiles, and amphibians are also found here. A religious site, the shrine of Alaungdaw Kathapa is also located within the park. It is one of the most popularly visited national parks in Myanmar and attracts about 30,000 pilgrims each year to the shrine.
8. Hiawga National Park -
This national park is located in Myanmar’s Yangon Division. It was established in 1982 as a center of environmental education. The park encompasses an area of 1,605 square km. The Zokanabe Lake’s catchment area is protected by the park. The park hosts a great diversity of deer like the hog deer, barking deer, Eld's deer, etc. Pangolins, pythons, and rhesus monkeys can also be observed here. Several species of both migratory and residents birds have been recorded at the national park. Examples include the red-vented bulbul, white-throated babbler, Asian openbill stork, etc. At least 295 species of plants grow here. The park also has a mini-zoo where animals like tigers, leopards, and crocodiles are kept.
7. Khakaborazi National Park -
This national park of Burma is located in the Kachin State of the country. It is a large park with an area of 3,810 square km. The park was established in 1996 and includes the area in and around the Hkakabo Razi, the country’s highest mountain. The mountain has an elevation of 5,881 m. The park features an entirely mountainous landscape with the vegetation varying with altitude. Permanent snow and glaciers cover the mountains of the park at elevations of more than 4,500 m above sea-level.
6. Lenya National Park -
This Burmese national park is located in the Tenasserim Hills of the country near the border with Thailand. The park encompasses lowland tropical forests spreading across an area of 1,761square km. Although a national park, the park’s flora, and fauna are subjected to a certain degree of exploitation for commercial purposes. Logging activities and forest plantations are allowed here. One of the most notable species found here is the endangered bird, Gurney's pitta. The bird is endemic to Myanmar and Thailand.
5. Lampi Island Marine National Park -
This is a marine national park that is located in Myanmar’s Lanbi Island. The island is a part of the Mergui Archipelago of the country. The park was founded in 1996 and occupies an area of 205 square km. The marine national park protects both the terrestrial and marine wildlife found on the island and the surrounding waters of the park. A rich birdlife has been recorded here. 228 bird species are known to exist in the park of which 19 species are threatened like Wallace's hawk-eagle and the plain-pouched hornbill. 19 mammalian species including the rare Sunda pangolin, 10 species of amphibians, and 19 species of reptiles also inhabit the marine national park. The reptilian fauna includes 3 species of threatened sea turtles. Whales, dolphins, and dugongs can be spotted in the sea. The park’s area covers a wide variety of habitats like mangroves, coral reefs, and tropical evergreen forests.
4. Loimwe National Park -
This national park of Myanmar was established in 1996. It is located in the Shan Hills in the Eastern Shan State of the country. The town of Loi Mwe located near the park served as the British District Commissioner’s headquarters during the British colonial rule in Burma. The hills offer great trekking opportunities to the visitors. Scenic views can be enjoyed from different points. The park also has rich wildlife which attracts nature lovers.
3. Mount Victoria National Park -
This national park has the Mount Victoria, also known as the Nat Ma Taung mountain, as its central feature. The park includes the mountain and the surrounding areas close to the Myanmar-India border in the Chin State of the country. With an elevation of 3,035 m above sea-level, the mountain is the tallest in the Chin State. The national park encompasses an area of 720 square km. It was founded in 1994 and has been designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park. The mountain is covered by montane forests while tropical and subtropical moist forests occur at lower altitudes. Several endemic species are also found in this national park. Unfortunately, the flora and fauna of the park receive little protection and are exploited to serve commercial purposes. Efforts are on to educate the locals to save the wildlife of the park and to develop the park as an eco-tourist destination.
2. Popa Mountain National Park -
This Burmese national park is located in the Mandalay Division’s Kyaukpadaung Township. The park encompasses an area of 129 square km and was established in 1989. It protects the habitat in and around the Mount Popa. The mountain is a volcano with an elevation of 4,981 ft above sea level. The area hosts several sacred sites including Nat temples and relics.
1. Tanintharyi National Park -
This national park is located in Myanmar’s Tenasserim Hills. The park covers a vast area of 2072 square km. It was established in 2005. The altitude of the park ranges from sea-level to 1,490 m. Mangroves and tropical evergreen forests are the main habitats of this park. The most notable fauna of the Tanintharyi National Park includes the leopard, the tiger, Asian elephant, Malayan tapir, sambar deer, barking deer, serow, etc.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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