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Biodiverity in Myanmar
Turtle and Tortoise
Naing Lin Work as Site Coordiantor for WCS Myanmar
Senior Technical Advisor
Robert Tizard is the Technical Advisor to the WCS Myanmar Program. He was born in Canada and grew up in Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1994 after studying geography and wildlife management. Within weeks of graduation he moved to Laos where he lived for over 10 years. During this period he has worked on birds, bats, tigers, elephants, ecotourism, protected areas and community land and natural resource issues. He has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society on-and-off in Lao PDR, North Korea and Myanmar. In 2006 Rob moved to Myanmar where he currently works as the Technical Advisor to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Myanmar Program. Much of his work focuses on land and natural resources issues with local communities especially with marginalized forest communities and increasingly with ethnic armies such as the Kachin and Karen as they work to end years of conflict.
Saw Htoo Tha Po
Senior Technical Coordinator
Saw Htoo Thar Po completed his Bechalor in Veterinary Science from the Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science in Yangon in 1979. He worked as a Veterinarian at Yangon Zoological Gardens since 1980 taking responsibility for zoo animal management and veterinary care for years. Afterwards he was transferred to Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division under the Forest Department and worked as a Vets especially responsible for capturing Wild Animals and relocating them into the Hlawga Wildlife Park. In 1985 he was transferred to Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park situated in North West of Myanmar. He was one of the pioneers involved in the establishment of the first Myanmar National Park. In 1989 he was transferred back to Hlawga Wildlife Park as Cheif Veterinarian for supervising management and medical care for zoo animals . He was then transferred back to Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park as a Deputy Warden in 1994, and later Park Warden, working there for several years. He resigned from the Forest Department in 1997. During those years he conducted several surveys on Tigers and Large Mammals in Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park, Sagaing Division, and Hlwegyi Area as a freelance biologist. He joined WCS Myanmar in 1999. Since then, he implemented the three-year National Tiger Survey as a Co-Leader in collaboration with Forestry Department of Myanmar for developing National Tiger Action Plan. He has also led the Tiger conservation and Tiger surveys in Hukaung Valley as Tiger Coordinator since 2002. He is now supervising Biological Monitoring in Hukaung Tiger Reserve in Northern Myanmar.
WCS Herpetologist for Southeast Asia and China
Steven G. Platt, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, received his BSc. in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Louisiana State University (1986), MSc. in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University (1986), and PhD in Zoology from Clemson University (1996). Platt conducted his dissertation research on the ecology of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize (1992-95) and then returned to the country and completed a nationwide survey of the endangered American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) for Wildlife Conservation Society (1996-98). From 1998-2001, Platt worked for Wildlife Conservation Society on crocodile and turtle conservation issues in various countries in Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand). In 2001 Platt returned to the United States and began a career in academics. He was an Instructor in the Department of Math and Science at Oglala Lakota College, a tribal institution on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota (2002-2006). From 2006-2011 Platt was an Assistant and later an Associate Professor in the Biology Department of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Platt resigned from academics in 2011 to return to Myanmar with his wife Dr. Kalyar Platt, and now serves as the WCS Herpetologist for Southeast Asia and China. Most of his time is spent in Myanmar where he is involved in various turtle conservation projects, most notably efforts to reintroduce Burmese Star Tortoises (Geochelone platynota) into protected areas in the dry zone. Platt also spends much of each year on the upper Chindwin River working to save the Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata) from extinction. Outside of Myanmar, Platt works closely with the WCS Cambodia Program on Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis) and Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) conservation. In China, Platt has been monitoring reintroduced Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) with Professor Lu Shunqing; together they are hoping to launch an ambitious reintroduction in the spring of 2016. Platt has co-authored numerous scientific papers on crocodilians and turtles, and in 2014 received the Castillo Award for crocodile conservation from the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. In his spare time Platt enjoys reading, travel, bicycling, and walking the Earth.
Landscape Coordinator of the North Forests Comlpex
Than Zaw graduated at the University of Yangon earning a B.Sc. (1993) and a M.Sc. (2000) in Zoology. He first approached WCS Myanmar for his Master thesis "Taxonomic description and some ecological data on a new species of Muntjac (Muntiacus putaoensis), Kachin State, Myanmar" in 1998. He started working in WCS Myanmar Program as a field staff in Jan 2001 and is now Landscape Coordinator for Northern Forest Complex. His work on wildlife conservation and research activities have led the field for ten years, and resulted in the publishing of several manuscripts and articles.
Win Ko Ko
Technical Coordinator (Turtle Conservation)
Win Ko Ko graduated in Zoology, with a specialization in Herpetology, at the Rangoon Arts and Science University in 1979. He joined the Crocodile Farm, under the People's Pearl and Fisheries Corporation, as a senior aquaculturist. He worked in private fishery farms for 14 years. In 1999, he joined the Wildlife Conservation Society serving as turtle/tortoise coordinator. He performed extensive research on the Burmese star tortoise, and the Arakan Forest Turtle. His work focused on the conservation of critically endanger endemic species such as the Burmese roofed turtle, for which he initiated an in-situ breeding programme in the upper Chindwin River in 2005. This initiative was carried out in collaboration with the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division of the Myanmar Ministry of Forestry, and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Nearly 200 Burmese roofed turtle have successfully hatched and were handed over to an ex-situ programme in the Yadanabon Zoological Garden in Mandalay.
Aung Ko Thet
Protected Area Capacity Development Specialist
Aung Ko Thet has over eleven years of professional experience working on forests, coastal areas and biodiversity conservation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Forestry, Yezin and a Masters degree in Ecological Marine Management from Vrije Universitieit, Belgium. Aung Ko Thet joined WCS as full time staff in 2015 as Protected Area Capacity Development Specialist. Previously, he worked as a consultant. His recent consultancies include National Biodiversity Conservation and Monitoring Specialist for the MERN and the ACB-SGP; Team Leader for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Daewoo Mangrove Restoration Project implemented by the Mangrove Service Network, and National Community Forestry Advisor to FFI for their improved legality, governance and trade for Community and small holder timber project.
Gumring Jong Kum
Gumring Jungkum joined WCS in December 2006 as research assistant at the Panthera Tiger Project in Hukaung Tiger Landscape. The main project activity was camera trapping and occupancy survey. In 2008 he was promoted as project Manager of CBNRM (Community Base Natural Resource Management) in Hukaung, working towards promoting sustainable livelihoods of local communities through Natural forest management and conservation. His responsibilities included performing inventory and household surveys in order to better understand the community demand and supply of natural resources. Since 2013 he is working as Site Coordinator in Hukaung.
Khin Myo Myo
Technician (Turtle Conservation)
Born and raised in Loikaw (Kayah State), she completed her M. Sc. in Zoology at the University of Yangon with a thesis on investigating nest building, early development and growth rate of soft water Crocodile. She worked in Crocodile Farm and Marine Turtle Conservation and Management Unit as Deputy Assistant Fishery Officer under the Department of Fisheries for 4 years. Because of her vivid interest in long term conservation she decided to join the Wildlife Conservation Society. Since 2004 she is working as a technician responsible for turtles and tortoise conservation throughout Myanmar. Her responsibilities include maintaining active research collaborations among Forestry and Fishery personnel as well as students from Myanmar Universities. Her projects include in-situ and ex-situ freshwater turtle conservation, monitoring for star tortoise reintroduction at Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary, and raising awareness programs in relevant project areas.
Kyaw Hla Thein
Deputy Project Manager
Kyaw Hla Thein holds a degree in Marine Science from Mawlamyine University. After graduating in 2006 he worked as a technician for a shrimp farm at CP company until 2009. Afterwards, he joined the Department of Fisheries as a field assistant. He surveyed Dugong and Irrawaddy dolphins in the Tanintharyi division and Rakaing State. In 2012 he joined the WCS and currently he is working on projects for the conservation of the Irrawaddy dolphin.
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