When Marco Polo travelled through Burma in the 13th century he described the country as an extensive jungle containing numerous elephants, unicorns and other wild animals. Burma is rich in natural resources, including acres of forestation covering over 6% of the country. These forest areas contain over 25 species of mammals, 6 species of birds, 2 species of reptiles and 7 of amphibians; 32 of these are endangered species. Recently the government has preserved almost 5 square kilometres of natural forestland for wildlife and trees.

The following are some of the major Burmese national parks;

Alongdaw Kathapa National Park

Alongdaw Kathapa National Park

Situated in Sagaing division and 981 miles from Yangon, this park totals around 62 square miles. A fascinating ecosystem of plants and animals can be studied in this park including wildlife such as tigers, elephant, sambur, deer, bear, wild boar, jungle cats and many kinds of birds. This wildlife sanctuary was started in 1941 and opened to the public in 1984.

Natma taung (Mt. Victoria) National Park

Natma taung (Mt. Vitoria) National Park

This park is located in Chin state and is 279 acres wide, including Mt. Victoria which is 353 meters high. Tourists are drawn to this park for mountaineering and to enjoy the natural beauty of the western part of Burma. On the way to the peak of Mt. Victoria local Chin villages can be visited.

Sein-Ye Camp

Located in Oaktwin Township, Bago division and established in 1996. Natural teak forests can be found in this park and visitors are able to watch the elephant assisted production of teak wood, as well as other wildlife.

Moeyungyi Wet Lands

This park is situated in the Waw township, Bago division, 7 miles from Yangon and totals approximately 4 square miles. This area is particularly important for observation of migratory birds travelling from the northern countries in the winter season. According to a census at the park, Moeyungyi contains 125 species of waterbirds including 70 species of migrants. Little Grebe, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Sarus Crane, Asian Open-Bill, Ruddy Shelduck, Purple Swamphen, Spot-Billed pelican, Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Black Winged Stilt, Great Cormorant, etc., can all be seen at this park.

Hlawga Wildlife Park

Hlawga Wildlife ParkThis Park is located in the Mingaladon township, Yangon division and only 22 mile away from Yangon. It was originally established in 1982 as an environmental educational center and contains mammals, reptiles and birds in their natural habitat.

National Botanical Garden

Situated in Pyin Oo Lwin, 5 miles from Mandalay and established in 1915 for public recreation. These gardens contain 344 species of forest trees, 42 species of orchids, 25 species of rose, 6 species of lily and also a number of local birds, reptiles, small mammal species and insects.

Shwesettaw Wildlife Park

Situated in the Minbu township, Magwe division and established in 1985 with an area of 214 square miles. Bear, gaur, barking deer, wild boar and various wild cats, dogs and birds can be seen in this Park. It is also home to the rare star tortoise.

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