Deforestation of endangered wildlife habitat continues to surge in southern Myanmar

Tanintharyi, Myanmar’s portion of the spit of land that splits the Gulf of Thailand from the Andaman Sea, is still swathed in old growth rainforest home to a unique medley of animals and plants – some of which are endangered and found nowhere else on the planet. But this forest is disappearing, and satellite data show deforestation appears to be accelerating in several parts of region.

One of these areas is Kawthoung, the district that comprises Tanintharyi’s southern extremity. Here live Malay tapirs (Tapirus indicus) and lar gibbons (Hylobates lar), geckos only recently discovered by scientists and secretive Gurney’s pittas (Hydrornis gurneyi) that hover on the brink of extinction.

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Morgan Erickson-Davis