The importance of the Myeik mangroves and mudflats, Tanintharyi, Myanmar for migratory waders and other waterbirds
129 – 141
8 August 19
Christoph Zöckler, Saw Moses, Shane Thu Lwin
Manfred-Hermsen Foundation, Goeben Str. 1, D-28209 Bremen, Germany
From December 2013 to November 2017, eight bird surveys were conducted in the mangroves and mudflats of the Myeik Archipelago, Tanintharyi, Myanmar. The archipelago stretches over ca. 620,000 ha, and its mudflats and mangroves host more than 32,000 migratory waders, gulls and terns. We detected six globally threatened and nine Near-threatened species, including two stork and one heron species. The globally Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea was found at two sites, and at least 60 Endangered Nordmann’s Greenshanks Tringa guttifer were confirmed at three different sites. Globally Endangered Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris were observed at several locations, including a flock of over 2,000 individuals. New wader species recorded for the Tanintharyi Province were the Far-Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis, Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes (both also new for Myanmar) and Crab Plover Dromas ardeola. The more than 2,000 Eurasian Curlews Numenius arquata, representing >1% of the flyway population of this globally Near-threatened species, were among the ten waterbird species (including six wader species) that occurred in internationally important concentrations. The area therefore qualifies as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. A cluster of coastal wetland sites is proposed for Ramsar designation within the wider setting of an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Biosphere Reserve, to protect the area from numerous threats, such as coastal development, mangrove degradation and hunting.