TENASSERIM ISLAND: Tropical menagerie,
Mergui Archipelago, Myamnar
During the day, there’s little evidence of human visitors on the beach at Tenasserim Island. More visible are the crab-eating macaques which stride across the sand and over the rocks, and the small green parakeets bouncing from bow to bow in the trees.
The island’s isolation — a result of both its history and its geography — has enabled the wildlife here to flourish. During the summer brahminy kites, white-bellied sea eagles and Pacific reef egrets fly above the lush primary rainforest at the back of the beach. During cooler weather, wreathed, pied and great hornbills patrol the skies in huge flocks. If you venture ashore, keep an eye out for snakes and small rodents scurrying underfoot. Towards the back of the beach, Burmese ferret badgers, otters and striped ground squirrels perform an elaborate, age-old dance as they stake out their territory.
As night falls these creatures take refuge in their hides and nests, and civets and fishing cats emerge to claim the beach. Gradually the bay fills with boats as nomadic fishermen arrive to spend the night ashore and lay out their sea cucumbers out to dry.
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