Posted on 18 February 2014
WWF is conserving the Dawna Tenasserim Landscape as an intact ecosystem with protected and connected habitats for wildlife...
WWF is conserving the Dawna Tenasserim Landscape as an intact ecosystem with protected and connected habitats for wildlife, and safeguarding its valuable ecosystem services for local communities and the nations of Myanmar and Thailand.
The Dawna Tenasserim Landscape, which covers 63,239 km² of Thailand and Myanmar, is defined by the Dawna and Tenasserim mountain ranges. These mountains are the source for the region’s major rivers and watershed systems: the Tenasserim, in the Taninthayi Division of Myanmar, and the Mae Khlong, Chao Phraya, Phetchaburi, and Lower Western watershed systems in Thailand. Ancient human civilizations have risen and fallen in this landscape, and the area is home to diverse ethnic groups who have thrived there for centuries.
The Myanmar portion of this landscape receives heavy rainfall and supports some of the largest areas of lowland evergreen forest remaining in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. The Thai side is dryer and is covered by a mosaic of evergreen and deciduous forests. The Dawna Tenasserim Landscape also contains one of the largest protected area networks in Southeast Asia, formed by the contiguous Western Forest Complex and Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex in Thailand. Large protected areas are proposed for the forests in Myanmar as well.
From the tiny endemic Kitti’s hog-nosed bat (also known as the bumblebee bat), contender for the title of smallest mammal in the world, to the Asian elephant, the Dawna Tenasserim is home to a remarkable diversity of animals. It has the largest population of tiger, Panthera tigris, in the Greater Mekong region and is home to the critically endangered Siamese crocodile and other rare endemics like Gurney’s Pitta and Fea’s muntjac.
The forests of the Dawna Tenasserim are under pressure from deforestation due to agricultural expansion and logging, forest fragmentation, subsistence poaching, commercial poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, unsustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products and wild meat, and major infrastructure development such as roads, pipelines and dams.