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Endangered Elephants in Megatha Forest, Karen State, Burma

By Karen Environmental and Social Action Network  •  July 25, 2011

Megatha Forest is a 156 sq km protected Wildlife Sanctuary in Karen State. The Karen Social and Environmental Action Network (KESAN) sent a study team to the forest. The team spent two years looking for elephants and talking to local people and forest officials about elephants and other biodiversity. The team estimates that the population is 15 elephants, in 2-3 small groups of 3-7 individuals each.

Historic and current threats to the elephants include the effects of war, poaching for ivory and capture of living wild elephants for markets in Thailand and China. Habitat destruction from mining is ongoing, and while logging has recently been reduced in the area there continue to be long term impacts.

Besides elephants, 60 other animal species were identified in Megatha forest, with over one third at risk of extinction, appearing in the IUCN Redlist and/or CITES Appendices. Widely diverse habitats, including three distinct forest types, were also noted. Therefore, the biodiversity of the Megatha Forest is significant, and KESAN plans to engage in further efforts to document this biodiversity and conserve the forest.

Click here to download the report.

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Environmental and Economic Justice

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