KHAKABORAZI NATIONAL PARK
KACHIN STATE (Degen), (W)
28o19´59" N/97o28´00" E, 5,881 m (Hkakabo Razi or Hkabo-Razi) 381,000 ha, mountainous with broad-leaved evergreen rainforest, the sub-tropical zone lies between 2,450 to 2,750 m, above which is temperate zone of broad-leaved, semi-deciduous forest then evergreen forest, then the alpine zone 3,350 m and finally bare rock and snow
November to April ()
Birding Site Guide
This place is very isolated but also considered to be the most biologically diverse in the country, despite lying just outside the Tropics. The village of Naung Mung is located here and the government is trying to establish an ecotourism base in the area. However even up until 2006 it took a 4 week trek through dense jungles and over many streams without bridges to reach the mountainous interior of the park. Naung Mung is reached from Putao 56 km away. The highest peak in SE Asia, Hkakabo Razi, lies on the border with India and China, in the NW of the park, the peak being entirely in Burma. The only low land of the area is over the border into Arunachal Pradesh, India. The main river is the great Irrawaddy (or Ayeyawady) which has its headwaters in this area. The Alung Dung valley is one of the main valleys.
For bird tours try the following, which go to the area of the River Irrawaddy at Bagan. SSTbirding
Threats to the area include a proposed dam at the confluence of the Irrawaddy, and gold mining.At What Price? Gold Mining in Kachin State, Burma
Only 101 bird species have so far been recorded, but the area has not been studied much. The obvious highlight is the recently described Naung Mung Scimitar-Babbler Jabouilleia naungmungensis discovered in 2004. Other species that may be encountered are Ruddy Shelduck, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Great Cormorant, River Lapwing, Great Thick-knee, rare Indian Skimmer, Small Pratincole, Pied Kingfisher, Grey Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank, River Tern, Black-bellied Tern, Greater Spotted Eagle, harriers and White-tailed Stonechat, Long-billed Pipit, Sand Lark. There are large gatherings of Sand Martin and Plain Martin on migration.
A bird list can be found here: Burma Bird List
Or at Avibase. A recent (2011) paper of birds of the area is accessible here. Ornithology of Northern Myanmar
Mammals: Within the past decade, scientists have discovered a new species of Leaf MuntjacMuntiacus putaoensis, the world’s smallest deer, a new Snub-Nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri's.
Poaching by Chinese from across the border has already eliminated the Asiatic Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Gaur, and probably Indo-Chinese Tiger. Red Panda, Takin (an oddity which combines the features of ox, a goat and antelope) remain in fairly good populations. Recently added new species for Burma include Black Muntjac and Blue Sheep. Stone Marten are also found.
Herptiles: An entirely new species of Spitting Cobra Naja mandalayensis and 17 other new species (to Burma) of reptiles and amphibians were discovered by Joe Slowinski before he was killed by a Multibanded Krait Bungarus multicinctus.
Fishes: 43 species have been recorded.
Plants: Forests of oak and pine prevail at temperate (900 m) elevations, which, apart from some river valleys is the lower region for this park. Rhododendrons and conifer forest are found just below the tree line.
Within the past decade, scientists have discovered several new species of plants, amphibians, and reptiles in this region (John Rappole, 2006).
Other references: A huge range of scientific papers, mainly in English but not just dealing with nature can be found here. Online Burma/Myanmar Library