From the beginning of February until the end of March 2013 I was in Burma as part of a BBC expedition to document some of the wildlife of this country that has been more-or-less closed off to outsiders for the best part of six decades.
Me, Smithsonian mammal experts (Kris Helgen, Darrin Lunde and Nicole Edmison), a few Burmese scientists, a load of film-makers and a retinue of helpers were lucky enough to visit three locations around the country; two on the west coast and a third in the far north, not too far from the Indian border.
Getting to some of the places we visited was a mammoth operation, involving huge numbers of porters, bamboo rafts and all other conventional forms of transport. Burma is a big country, so we only really got a snapshot of its wildlife, suffice to say that we saw some incredible beasts, especially on the camera traps. I managed to find a fair few arthropods as well as some other creatures.
The product of this expedition formed a three part BBC 2 documentary in the same vein as several others the BBC have produced over the last few years (e.g. Lost Land of the Volcano, Lost Land of the Jaguar, etc.).
You can read about the expedition in the December issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine. Click here to view a PDF of this article. I also wrote this viewpoint article for BBC News about why we need to protect Burma’s forests. There’s also this BBC Nature gallery article about the insects I found in Burma. The results of the survey have been consolidated into a report that will be given to the Burmese government. A series of articles, based on our findings, will hopefully follow.