Indo-Myanmar Hotspot


The Indo-Myanmar Hotspot, one of the world’s 34 hotspots that collectively are home to at least 50 percent of the world’s plant species and 42 percent of all terrestrial vertebrate species, encompasses 2.4 million km² of tropical Asia (see map). It begins in eastern Bangladesh and then extends across north-eastern India, south of the Brahmaputra River, to encompass nearly all of Myanmar, part of southern and western Yunnan Province in China, all of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the vast majority of Thailand, and a small part of Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, the hotspot covers the coastal lowlands of southern China (in southern Guangxi and Guangdong), as well as several offshore islands, such as Hainan Island (of China) in the South China Sea and the Andaman Islands (of India) in the Andaman Sea. It is home to the Lower Mekong river basin.

A wide diversity of ecosystems is represented in this hotspot, including mixed wet evergreen, dry evergreen, deciduous, and montane forests. There are also patches of shrublands and woodlands on karst limestone outcrops and, in some coastal areas, scattered heath forests. In addition, a wide variety of distinctive localized vegetation formations occur, including lowland floodplain swamps, mangroves, and seasonally inundated grasslands.