Land and Resources, Plant and Animal Life
betel palm, cinchona, wild buffalo, peafowl, species of monkey
Forests cover 52 percent of Myanmar. In Lower Myanmar, the dense tropical forests contain extensive stands of timber and oil-bearing trees, including commercially valuable teak forests. Other trees include rubber, cinchona, acacia, bamboo, ironwood, mangrove, coconut, betel palm, and, chiefly in the northern highlands, oak, pine, and many species of rhododendron. Tropical fruits such as citrus, bananas, mangoes, and guavas grow in the coastal regions. Vegetation in the arid regions is sparse and stunted. One consequence of Myanmar’s slow economic growth has been the preservation of much of the natural environment.
Jungle animals such as the tiger and leopard are common in Myanmar. Among the larger native animals, found mainly in the highlands of Upper Myanmar, are the elephant, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild boar, and several species of deer and antelope. Elephants, tamed or bred in captivity, are used as work animals, particularly in the lumber industry. Smaller animals include the gibbon, which is a small species of ape that lives in trees, several species of monkey, the wildcat, the flying fox, and the tapir. Myanmar has 999 known varieties of birds, including parrots, peafowl, pheasants, crows, herons, and paddybirds. Among typical reptiles are crocodiles, geckos, cobras, pythons, and turtles. Edible species of freshwater fish are plentiful.
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