Tanintharyi island rainforests
Tanintharyi island rainforest occurs on offshore islands across Tanintharyi, including the Myeik archipelago. It is a lowland, primarily evergreen, forest ecosystem that has some maritime influence. It shows a tolerance of salty ocean seaspray and historically received much of its nutrient input from nesting seabird populations that have subsequently collapsed. It occurs across a wide range of island types including limestone, rubble and sand islands. The canopy is primarily evergreen Dipterocarpaceae (Tagane et al., 2019). Stamp (1924b) reported forests of “tall varied trees who dense canopy, cutting off nearly all light from the ground, is made more intense by the wealth of woody climbers which have struggled upwards to reach the light”.
This ecosystem is broadly distributed across many isolated islands in southern Myanmar, but there is an expected reduction in climate suitability over the next three decades. Threats from humans and biotic degradation are expected to be low, as confirmed by an analysis of the Forest Landscape Integrity Index. The ecosystem qualified for listing as Vulnerable under Criterion C, with a plausible range of Least Concern – Vulnerable. Vulnerable (Least Concern – Vulnerable).