Within Indo-Myanmar, IMC focuses on Myanmar, the hotspot’s largest and most biologically important country. Of the hotspot’s 197 plant and animal species defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Endangered (EN) or Critically Endangered (CR), the highest threat categories, 74 (38 percent) live in Myanmar. But Myanmar’s fantastic array of wildlife is disappearing rapidly in the face of habitat loss and unsustainable hunting, much of it for export to China.
After decades of civil conflict and economic decline, Myanmar is struggling to protect its wildlife and many species are on the verge of extinction. For example, its wild elephant population, until recently thought to exceed 4,000, probably numbers less than 1,800. The government receives very little international conservation funding or indeed any form of development assistance. As a result, very little conservation takes place in Myanmar, despite the great need.