Chin Hills warm temperate rainforest

ချင်းတောင်တန်း အအေးပိုင်း ပူနွေးမိုးသစ်တော

Extinction Risk

National IUCN statusVU

Climate and ecology




Temperate-Boreal Forests & Woodlands

Functional Group

Warm temperate rainforests


An overwhelmingly evergreen closed-canopy forest type occuring in the humid warm temperate areas of north-western Myanmar. This ecosystem is structurally simple, with a relatively uniform canopy consisting of notophyll-microphyll leaf sizes, buttreses are uncommon. Common at elevations over about 1500 m. Oaks (Quercus) and chestnuts (Castanopsis) are common in this ecosystem, and Dipterocarps are generally rare. A particularly good example of this ecosystem is Natma Taung National Park, the highest point in Chin State.


Chin hills warm temperate rainforest is widspread across the higher altitude areas of Chin State.


Native biota


Fagaceae including Oaks (Quercus) and chestnuts (Castanopsis) are abundant in this ecosystem (Davis, 1960). Other genera include Acer, Betula, Celtis, Capinus, Fraxinus and Magnolia (Davis, 1960). Tree species listed by Davis (1960) for the region include Dipterocarpus alatus (Dipterocarpaceae), Engelhardtia spicata (Juglandaceae), Figus benjamina (Moraceae), and Sterculia coccinea (Malvaceae) (Davis, 1960). However, the forests of the Chin Hills have more subtropical elements than those of the Naga Hills. Rao (1974) lists the following tree genera: Albizia (Fabaceae), Acer (Sapindaceae), Juglans (Juglandaceae), Quercus (Fagaceae), and Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) with Rhododendron (Ericaceae), Rubus spp. (Rosaceae) and scattered Arundinaria bamboo (Poaceae) in the understorey. On somewhat higher slopes are Alnus nepalensis (Betulaceae), Cornus controversa (Cornaceae) and Ilex spp. (Aquifoliaceae) (Rao 1974). This ecosystem supports the entire population of White-browed Nuthatch Sitta victoriae (EN) as well as a significant wintering population of Grey-sided Thrush Turdus feae (VU). There are numerous near-endemic species and subspecies shared with neighboring India including Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii blythii (VU), Black-headed Shrikebabbler Pteruthius rufiventer, Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae), Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae), Burmese Tit Aegithalos sharpei, Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae), Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae), Mount Victoria Babax Garrulax woodi, Brown-capped Laughingthrush Trochalopteron austeni, Striped Laughingthrush Trochalopteron virgatum, Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor cerviniventris and Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Chloris spinoides heinrichi. The Mammalian fauna includes Western Hoolock Gibbon Hoolock hoolock (EN), Dhole Cuon alpinus (EN), Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus (VU), Himalayan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus (VU), Leopard Panthera pardus (VU), Mainland Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa (VU), Indochinese Serow Capricornis milneedwardsii (NT) and Red Serow Capricornis rubidus (NT).

Abiotic environment

Mean temperature

17° C


No data


2,200 mm per annum


1,300 – 2,500 m


This ecosystem occurs at moderate elevations (1,300 – 2,500 m) corresponding to areas where high altitudes moderate seasonal drought, with mild mean annual temperature of about 17° C and mean annual precipitation of 2,200 mm.

Key processes and interactions

The monsoonal wet-dry annual cycle is ameliorated by lower evapotranspiration at altitude, and there is an overall water surplus, supporting a moist microclimate that sustains vegetation through periods of dry weather.

Major threat

Major threat

Conversion of this ecosystem to tea plantations, and deforestation due to logging are the primary threats to this ecosystem. This ecosystem is not flammable due to an overall moist microclimate but catastrophic fires resulting from human activity (shifting cultivation), particularly following periods of drought or extended warm weather, are also key threat.

Instruction: The visualization shows threats that are present within each ecosystem. According to IUCN, direct threats are the proximate human activities or processes that have impacted, are impacting, or may impact the the status of the taxon being assessed. Click of the highlighted icons to see details each threat category.

Ecosystem Assessment

Assessment Summary

Chin hills warm temperate rainforest is broadly distributed and there is little evidence to suggest widespread losses of this ecosystem type or likely future declines under climate change. However, primary forest data suggest that historical degradation of this ecosystem has occurred, sufficient to meet the category thresholds for Vulnerable under Criterion D3. Vulnerable.

Instruction: Click on the chart to view the detailed assessment result for each RLE risk criteria. Risk is defined as the probability of an adverse outcome over a specified time-frame. Here, the adverse outcome is the endpoint of ecosystem decline, which the RLE terms ecosystem collapse.

Ecosystem collapse definition

This ecosystem is considered collapsed when its distribution declines to 0 km2 or when the proportion of the ecosystem considered primary forest declines to 0.

Date Assessed


Year published


Assessed by

Nicholas Murray,Hedley Grantham

Reviewed by

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