There are many independent drainages as well as high aquatic biodiversity for Biodiversity in Tanintharyi Region, Mon State, Kayin State and Bago Region, Southern Myanmar. To expand our understanding of the rich biodiversity in Myanmar, a survey on aquatic biodiversity in southern Myanmar is implemented, and mainly focued on Tanintharyi River, Thanlwin River, Ye River, Sittaung River, and some independent rivers from 22th April to 9th May, 2019. This is the first field survey on aquatic biodiversity implemented by Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SEBARI, CAS) in Southern Myanmar.
The team is composed of 6 members, Mr. Xiao-Yong Chen (Professor), Mr.FengLin (Ph.D. Student), and Mr. Nay Htet Naing (Research Assistant) of Aquatic Biodiversity Research Group of SEABRI and Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ, CAS), Bo-Yang Shi (Ph.D. Student on study of fresh water crab from Nanjing Normal University), and Mr. Ye Yint Tun (ranger officer of FRI)， also include the driver.
In this field survey, a few areas are restricted to go for security reasons. The roads of Southern Myanmar are accessible, but it is dry season in this duration, most of the streams and rivers are dry out even we approached the upstream.
Our first place is Mawlamyine City beside the Thanlwin River, Ataran river that flow through the city and go to the Thalwin River. We moved to the next station to Myeik (the way is too far and we took the whole day by the car). Even the Tanintharyi Region obtained its name from it, Tanintharyi is a small township near the Tanintharyi River. There is another river, called Ngawun chaung that flow into the Tanintharyi River. There are also some independent drainages in Tanintharyi Region and we have collected specimen from there.
MeeLaung Chaung, Palaw
After that we moved to Palaw (some independent drainages), Dawei and then Myawaddy. Although Myawaddy is boundary with Thailand and there is local army(called KNU), we successfully collected some specimen near boundary of Thailand under their permission. And then we moved to Hpa-An(YeBoat Dam), Ye (Ye Stream), Phyu ( Phyu Stream), Kyaihto (Kadat Stream) and Taungoo( Bann stream and other streams originated from Bago Yoma).
Collecting with cast net
Preparing specimen and taking tissue samples
In this trip, we collected 1964 fish specimens and 156 species from 13 towns, 24 stations, which are mostly freshwater fish and a few marine fishes from local markets. Many species are firstly collected, such as Devario suvatti, Botia udomritthiruji, Schistura cf. balteata and Pristolepis siamensis, and new species may have discovered in this survey. A few freshwater carbs and shrimps were also collected.
Schistura cf. balteata
This survey is under the support from SEABRI and MONREC, as well as many local forestry officers. We especially thank Mr. Ye Yint Tun for his excellent job as liaison officer.