5 Unique Animals in Mergui Archipelago

14 Jun 2019 by Admin

Discovering wildlife is among the most exciting activities when cruising on Myanmar Yacht Charters through the Mergui Archipelago where the only marine national park of Myanmar, the Lampi Island Marine National Park, was established in 1997. This archipelago is very rich in biodiversity and has various wonderful animal species, many of which are on the Red List of Threatened Species.

In this article, we would like to introduce the top 5 unique mammals that you can encounter in the Mergui Archipelago.

Top 5 Unique Mammals in the Mergui Archipelago

1. The Dusky Langur

This primate species is also known under the name ‘Spectacled Leaf Monkey” because they have two white rings encircling their eyes. The Dusky Langur often live in small populations of 20 individuals, each population is led by a strong male who are responsible for protecting his females and offspring.

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Dusky Langur Spend Most of Their Time in Canopy

The Dusky Langur is very possessive of their territory and both the male and his females are willing to defend their territory and offspring against intruders or predators. As this primate species is diurnal, they are most active in the early morning and in the afternoon. During the day, these animals spend most of their time in the canopy, where most of their daily activities take place. Despite being well able to jump from tree to tree, the monkeys like to crawl along the branches.

2. The Dugong

animals in mergui archipelago
The Dugong is the Inspiration for "Mermaid" in Fairy Tales

The name Dugong is a derivative of the word “duyung” in Malaysian language, which can be roughly translated as “the lady of the sea”. Like their name, these big creatures are very gentle herbivores. They belong to a relatively small family of marine mammals whose ancestors and elephants share the same root.

The habitats of Dugong are waters near the coast like the wide and shallow bays, leeward side of islands and mangrove channels, where seaweed, the favorite meal of Dugong, grow in abundance. A mature Dugong often has the length of 3 - 4 meters and weighs approximately 500 kilos. 

Mergui archipelago is one of the best diving site in the world for the pristine nature and diverse marine life. You can have a chance to not only spot the rare Dungong but many other incredible animals when diving in Mergui Archipelago.

3. The Sunda Pangolin

The Sunda Pagolin is also widely known with the name Scaly Anteater as these animals’ body is protected by layers of thick scales and they prey on termites and ants. They have an inconceivably sharp sense of smell which is used to detect their meals and they catch prey with their long and sticky tongue. Pangolins utilize their sharp and powerful claws to dig into the soil to find ant nests or break into termite mounds. Every day, they need to consume about 200,000 termites and ants to satisfy their appetite.

mergui archipelago mammals
The Scaled Armor Protects Pangolin from Predators

Although their body has evolved to hunt on the ground, Pangolins actually live on trees. They have an excellent climbing ability and spend most of their time resting in tree holes to avoid predators. These animals are declining in number and now critically endangered.

4. The Oriental Small-clawed Otter

In comparison to other otter species, the Oriental small-clawed otter is considered being the smallest and most extraordinary one. They reside in mangrove forests, but unlike their relatives who spend most of their time in the water, these animals prefer to stay on land. These adorable and playful otters can be encountered easily in the islands of the Mergui Archipelago.

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Oriental Small-clawed Otters Live in Small Families

Oriental small-clawed otters live in small monogamous families where the couple commit their lives to each other and raise their offspring together. Like a human family, the older offspring would give a hand in rearing the younger ones. The paw is a feature that distinguishes these otters from other otter species.

Their paw has little velum which grants them great manual dexterity and makes them the sole otter species that can grasp their prey with paws instead of catching by their mouth.

5. The Lesser Mouse-deer

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The Color of Their Fur Helps Mouse-deers Camouflage on the Forest Floor

This is an endemic mammal of the Mergui Archipelago whose local name is Tragulus Kanchil Lampensis (derived from the name of Lampi Island). Mouse - deer is the smallest hoofed mammal in the world, with the size and weight of an adult individual of only 45 cm and 2 kg.

They don’t have majestic horns for fighting but are equipped with elongated canine teeth stick out on both sides of their upper jaw. Mouse - deers have short and thin legs helping them run through the dense verdant forests on the islands.

The diverse wildlife of Mergui Archipelago has never stopped suprising us. Apart from the unique mammals, bird species in Myeik also fascinate many bird lovers and nature enthusiasts around the world. Check out the 5 most stunning birds in Myeik

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