Rakhine coastal savanna



An open-canopy savanna with mostly deciduous phenology that occurs in lowland coastal areas along the eastern foothills of the Rakhine Hills. This area undergoes an annual seasonally dry period, typically extending up to 7 months between November to May each year, followed by monsoonal rains (Platt et al., 2010). Rainfall is typically around 850 to 1,250 mm, potentially up to 1,500 mm, and local elevation, fire frequency and moisture gradients are likely the principal factors that influence the distribution of this ecosystem (Wolfhart et al., 2014) It co-occurs with Rakhine hills semi-evergreen dry forest, which tends to occur at higher elevations (sometimes extending to the coastal plain) and is distinguished by the higher abundance of evergreen species, lack of a grassy ground layer and higher overall species diversity.

Assessment summary

Rakhine coastal savanna remains broadly distributed along the coastal lowlands of Rakhine. Extensive losses of this ecosystem are likely to have occurred as a result of land-clearing for agriculture (primarily rice). Little information was found that could be used to assess changes in distribution, and no data suggested biotic or abiotic degradation sufficient to meet any category thresholds. However, a post-assessment review indicated that further data could yield an assessment outcome other than Least Concern, and we recommend urgent further work to address this knowledge gap to enable a complete assessment of this ecosystem type. Data Deficient.