Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association BANCA

Rangoon, Myanmar

Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association BANCA

Rangoon, Myanmar

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ZOCKLER C.,Spoon billed Sandpiper Task Force | BERESFORD A.E.,Center for Conservation Science | BUNTING G.,Spoon billed Sandpiper Task Force | CHOWDHURY S.U.,Bangladesh Spoon billed Sandpiper Conservation Project | And 14 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2016

Declines in populations of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaeus have been rapid, with the breeding population now perhaps numbering fewer than 120 pairs. The reasons for this decline remain unresolved. Whilst there is evidence that hunting in wintering areas is an important factor, loss of suitable habitat on passage and wintering areas is also of concern. While some key sites for the species are already documented, many of their wintering locations are described here for the first time. Their wintering range primarily stretches from Bangladesh to China. Comprehensive surveys of potential Spoon-billed Sandpiper wintering sites from 2005 to 2013 showed a wide distribution with three key concentrations in Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also regular sites in China, Vietnam and Thailand. The identification of all important non-breeding sites remains of high priority for the conservation of the species. Here, we present the results of field surveys of wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers that took place in six countries between 2005 and 2013 and present species distribution models which map the potential wintering areas. These include known and currently unrecognised wintering locations. Our maximum entropy model did not identify any new extensive candidate areas within the winter distribution, suggesting that most key sites are already known, but it did identify small sites on the coast of eastern Bangladesh, western Myanmar, and the Guangxi and Guangdong regions of China that may merit further investigation. As no extensive areas of new potential habitat were identified, we suggest that the priorities for the conservation of this species are habitat protection in important wintering and passage areas and reducing hunting pressure on birds at these sites. Copyright © BirdLife International 2016


Liedigk R.,German Primate Center | Yang M.,German Primate Center | Jablonski N.G.,Pennsylvania State University | Momberg F.,Fauna and Flora International FFI | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Odd-nosed monkeys represent one of the two major groups of Asian colobines. Our knowledge about this primate group is still limited as it is highlighted by the recent discovery of a new species in Northern Myanmar. Although a common origin of the group is now widely accepted, the phylogenetic relationships among its genera and species, and the biogeographic processes leading to their current distribution are largely unknown. To address these issues, we have analyzed complete mitochondrial genomes and 12 nuclear loci, including one X chromosomal, six Y chromosomal and five autosomal loci, from all ten odd-nosed monkey species. The gene tree topologies and divergence age estimates derived from different markers were highly similar, but differed in placing various species or haplogroups within the genera Rhinopithecus and Pygathrix. Based on our data, Rhinopithecus represent the most basal lineage, and Nasalis and Simias form closely related sister taxa, suggesting a Northern origin of odd-nosed monkeys and a later invasion into Indochina and Sundaland. According to our divergence age estimates, the lineages leading to the genera Rhinopithecus, Pygathrix and Nasalis+Simias originated in the late Miocene, while differentiation events within these genera and also the split between Nasalis and Simias occurred in the Pleistocene. Observed gene tree discordances between mitochondrial and nuclear datasets, and paraphylies in the mitochondrial dataset for some species of the genera Rhinopithecus and Pygathrix suggest secondary gene flow after the taxa initially diverged. Most likely such events were triggered by dramatic changes in geology and climate within the region. Overall, our study provides the most comprehensive view on odd-nosed monkey evolution and emphasizes that data from differentially inherited markers are crucial to better understand evolutionary relationships and to trace secondary gene flow. © 2012 Liedigk et al.


Zockler C.,Christoph Zockler | Naing T.Z.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Moses S.,Flora Fauna International | Soe Y.N.,Sittwe Nature Conservation Organsiation SNCA | Hla T.H.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association BANCA
Stilt | Year: 2014

Surveys of water birds at eight sites along the 3000 km long coast of Myanmar from 2008-2013 have shown that the country hosts a number of significant intertidal mudflat areas. It regularly provides home to more than 150,000 wintering and migrating water birds of 80 different species. The large majority of these birds occur in the Gulf of Mottama and in the adjacent Ayeyarwaddy Delta. Together with other sites, the Myanmar coast proved to be important for many water birds, and included a total of 10 globally threatened species. The waders were most prominent with 39 species being recorded. Among those was the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmeus) for which coastal habitats in Myanmar hold more than 50% of the world population. Also, the Endangered Nordmann’s Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) has been found in significant numbers and is one of 24 species where at least 1% of the global population is occurring on Myanmar’s coast. Often, the combination of the intertidal mudflats with adjacent mangroves proved to be crucial for several water bird species, as shown in the case of the Vulnerable Lesser Adjutant Stork. (Leptoptilos javanicus) Despite the significance of this coastline for water birds, hardly any of the intertidal sites or adjacent mangroves has any formal protection. With rapid coastal development threatening most of the sites, the protection of the most important of these sites is of high priority. © 2014, Stilt. All rights reserved.


Geissmann T.,University of Zürich | Lwin N.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association BANCA | Aung S.S.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association BANCA | Aung T.N.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association BANCA | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2011

We describe a snub-nosed monkey that is new to science from the high altitudes of northeastern Kachin state, northeastern Myanmar, the Burmese snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri sp. nov. Descriptions are based on a skin and skulls of four specimens obtained from local hunters. The new species is geographically isolated from other snub-nosed monkeys and separated from them by two major barriers-the Mekong and the Salween (Thanlwin) rivers. The species is chiefly diagnosed by its almost entirely blackish fur coloration with white fur only on ear tufts, chin beard, and perineal area, and its relatively long tail (140% of head and body length in the adult male). Preliminary surveys and interviews with hunters indicate that the new species is limited in distribution to the Maw River area, a small region of the Salween-N'mai Hka divide in northeastern Kachin state, northeastern Myanmar. The distribution area appears to cover about 270 km2, and the species may consist of only three groups with a total population of approximately 260-330 individuals. Our data on hunting pressure suggest that the species is Critically Endangered. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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