Naga-Manipuri-Chin Hills Moist Forests

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The Singalila ridges, Sikkim, India.
© WWF-Canon / NEYRET & BENASTAR

About the Area

This Global ecoregion is comprised of 5 terrestrial ecoregions: Northern Triangle subtropical forests; Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rain forests; Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma montane forests; Meghalaya subtropical forests; and Northeast India-Myanmar pine forests.

These forests are known to be fairly wet with some areas recording more than 11 m (36 ft) of rainfall a year. This rainfall, together with the deeply dissected landscape makes dispersal difficult, thus contributing to the richness of these forests. The area is considered to be the centre of diversity for several primitive trees.

In 1997, a new species, the leaf muntjac, was discovered in the northern triangle. Standing only about 60 cm (2 ft) tall, this muntjac is considered the smallest true deer in the world. There are also more than 370 different species of birds found here.

Size:
272,000 sq. km (105,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Geographic Location:
Southern Asia: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable

Local Species
This area contains refuges for the Miocene flora such as Tetracentron sinense and Amentotaxus assamicus.

An astounding 580 bird species live in the Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rain forests.
Among the numerous birds restricted to habitats in this ecoregion are Blyth's tragopan (Tragopan blythii), brown-capped laughingthrush (Garrulax austeni), long-tailed wren-babbler (Spelaeornis chocolatinus), Rufous-capped babbler (Stachyris ruficeps), broad-billed warbler (Tickellia hodgsoni), and white-browed nuthatch (Sitta victoriae).

Mammals include the endangered hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock), tiger (Panthera tigris), the threatened sun bear (Ursus malayanus), red panda (Ailurus fulgens), clouded leopard (Pardofelis nebulosa), leopard (Panthera pardus), thamin (Cervus eldii), and the gaur (Bos gaurus).

The Meghalaya Hills Subtropical Forests have over 265 species of spectacular orchids.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Paul BARRUEL
Blyth's tragopan (Tragopan blythii) drawing.
© WWF-Canon / Paul BARRUEL

Featured Species

 / ©: WWF-Canon / Helena  TELKÄNRANTA
Gaur (Bos gaurus), Royal Chitwan National Park, Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal.
© WWF-Canon / Helena TELKÄNRANTA
The gaur (Bos gaurus, previously Bibos gauris) the largest wild cattle species in the world, measuring up to 2 meters at the shoulders and weighing up to 900 kg. It is also called the seladang or ‘Indian bison’. Gaurs are said to look like the front of a water buffalo with the back of a domestic cow. There is a shoulder hump which is especially pronounced in adult males. The s-shaped horns are found in both sexes, with the male’s horns sometimes reaching 1 m (3.5 ft).

They live in small mixed herds of 2-40 individuals. Adult males may be solitary, joining herds to mate. Their diet is grasses, shoots and fruit. The loss of its habitat due to human encroachment has led to the reduction in its population, and the gaur is listed as vulnerable.

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Threats
Portions of this ecoregion are in relatively good condition. Major concerns include 'jhum' (shifting) cultivation, clearing for fuel wood and fodder needs, forest fires, development projects, timber exploitation, hunting, and habitat loss.

In many areas, burning and overgrazing leads to the trampling of soil, thus preventing regeneration. Poaching and capture of wildlife for trade also remain serious threats to biodiversity as well.
WWF’s work
The WWF Living Mekong Programme (LMP) is a regional multi-disciplinary project aimed at marrying biodiversity conservation with sustainable development.

LMP focuses on the major environmental threats as well as on areas where WWF holds a comparative advantage. These issues can be separated into 2 main priorities: dams and energy, and sustainable management of floodplains.

WWF is promoting a wide-angle-lens approach to river management across the region, particularly in China and Myanmar. Other priorities include toxicity monitoring and the conservation of key species.

WWF is working at country level to implement projects specifically tailored to national scenarios.

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