Andaman Islands rain forests, Myanmar: The Andaman Islands were connected to mainland Myanmar during the Pleistocene. However, the islands still contain a lot of endemic animals and species shared only with the Nicobar Islands. Interestingly, the Andamans are floristically more like the mainland than the Nicobars, with less overlap of plant species than one might expect. Much of the islands are part of protected areas, but the protected areas often are not in the best location for conserving terrestrial species. There are also increasing threats to the biodiversity of the islands from a growing immigration of mainland people.
Cardamom Mountains rain forests, Cambodia: The Cardamom Mountains Rain Forests ecoregion sits astride the Cardamom Mountains (locally known as Kravanh) and the Elephant Range (locally known as Dom rei) in southwestern Cambodia and extends slightly across the border into southeastern Thailand. It is separated from the nearest other rain forest by the vast, dry Khorat Plateau in central Thailand to the north and east and by the Gulf of Thailand in the west. The Cardamom Mountain rain forests are considered by some to be one of the most species-rich and intact natural habitats in the region, but they are also one of the least explored. Although scientific explorations have begun to reveal the unique biological riches in other intact and hitherto unexplored rain forests such as in the Annamite Mountain Range, the Cardamom Mountains have been neglected until recently (Fauna & Flora International 2000). It would not be surprising if this ecoregion, which contains the essential ingredients for speciation (i.e., isolation, moist and stable conditions, intact and undisturbed habitat, and rugged terrain), yields a number of new species that will add to its biological diversity.
Eastern Java-Bali montane rain forests, Java: The Eastern Java-Bali Montane Rain Forests are found on one of the most actively volcanic islands in the world. Once the home of the extinct Javan and Balinese tigers (Panthera tigris sundaica and Panthera tigris balica, respectively), they contain fifteen bird species found nowhere else on Earth and more than 100 mammal species. Nearly three-quarters of the ecoregion's natural habitat has been cleared by a rapidly expanding population that is increasingly forced into these marginal lands.
Greater Negros-Panay rain forests, The ecoregion includes the large island of Negros, Panay, and Cebu and the smaller islands of Masbate, Ticao, and Guimaras; Sibuyan, Romblon, Tablas, and Siquijor: The Greater Negros-Panay Rain Forests ecoregion, including the Western Visayas and parts of additional political regions, appears as a number of isolated islands, but during the last ice ages these islands were (for the most part) part of one continuous island. The islands contain a unique mix of Sundaic and Philippine mammals and birds, including leopard cats and endemic pigs and deer species. Sibuyan, a small mountainous island surrounded by deep water, contains five endemic mammals and several restricted-range birds and nearly qualifies as an ecoregion in itself.
Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, Himalayas: The Himalayan Subtropical Broadleaf Forests ecoregion includes several forest types along its length as it traverses an east to west moisture gradient. The forest types include Dodonea scrub, subtropical dry evergreen forests of Olea cuspidata, northern dry mixed deciduous forests, dry Siwalik sal (Shorea robusta) forests, moist mixed deciduous forests, subtropical broadleaf wet hill forests, northern tropical semi-evergreen forests, and northern tropical wet evergreen forests. The ecoregion also forms a critical link in the chain of interconnected Himalayan ecosystems that extend from the Terai and Duar grasslands along the foothills to the high alpine meadows at the top of the world's highest mountain range.
Jian Nan subtropical evergreen forests, Yangtze River Basin: This ecoregion consists of extensive low mountains that separate the coastal plains of southern China from the basin of the lower Changjiang (Yangtze) River and support luxuriant subtropical forest vegetation. Here granite has intruded upward into extensive tablelands of Paleozoic limestone with areas of shale and sandstone interspersed. This contributes to high biodiversity. Retentive silicate soils (granite and sandstone) hold water better than the porous limestone, so different kinds of plants grow on these different kinds of rock. Populations of threatened monkeys and pheasant, and the wild ancestors of several commercially important tree species continue to survive in the remote backcountry of this mountainous ecoregion.
Luang Prabang montane rain forests, Laos: The Luang Prabang Montane Rain Forests are globally outstanding for bird richness. This ecoregion has had limited biological exploration. Although more than 70 percent of this ecoregion's original montane vegetation has been converted to scrub or degraded forest, the remaining area presents some of the best opportunities for large mammal conservation in Indochina.
Malabar Coast moist forests, India: Many years ago, the Malabar Coast Moist Deciduous Forests ecoregion was a swath of lush tropical evergreen forest that extended along the western coast of the Deccan Peninsula between the Western Ghats Mountains and the Indian Ocean (Champion and Seth 1968). These forests were once inhabited by tigers (Panthera tigris), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), and a host of hornbills. But today very little of the natural habitat is left, the result of years of forest clearing to establish teak (Tectona grandis) plantations, human settlements, and other human activities such as fires set to clear forests for agriculture and promote grazing lands for livestock. Therefore, the original evergreen character of the forests has changed from the evergreen vegetation to a semi-evergreen condition. Many of the large, space-dependent species have disappeared from the ecoregion, victims of habitat loss and fragmentation. This is another ecoregion on the verge of extinction.
Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Archipelago tropical moist forests, Indian Ocean: The Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Archipelago is an unusual sight viewed from the air. In this region of the Indian Ocean, many thin ring-shaped atolls stand out against blue ocean with their extensive reef system visibly spreading offshore. While it is this reef system that receives the majority of attention from the conservation community, the terrestrial portion of this system of thousands of islands serves as important habitat for several species. Many of the islands are major seabird rookeries and are also important turtle nesting areas. Two fruit bats and a few butterflies are endemic to the archipelago. Once covered in tropical rain forest, almost all native vegetation has been cleared.