Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary - People, nature and culture in a unique wetland

Year of Declaration:  2003
Area (hectares): 166,360
Area and Location:

Nyung Shwe township, Hpegon Township, Southern Shan State, Myanmar.



The Park is known for its “floating gardens”; an important watershed and water source for electricity and domestic use for people living within and in small villages that straddle the Lake.


Habitat Types:

Wetland; natural floating islets; swamp forest; evergreen and deciduous forest; grassland; and pine forests.


Unique Flora:

Wetland sedge, reeds and evergreen flora growing in natural floating islets like Oryza hydrophasia, Chirugus granulate, Dalbergia spinosa, Hypericum prunizolium, Colladium sp., Desmodium oblongum, Enhydra fluctuans, Panicum sarmentosum; Salix tetrasperma, Ficus sp., Crataexa nurvala, Mitragyna parvizolia, and Salmalia malabarica syn Bombax malabaricumg rowing in shallower water or on the shores; rare medicinal orchids.


Unique Fauna:

Fish species like ngapweh (Chaudhuria caudata) and ngaku-shinpa (Silurus burmanensis; migratory bird species like the sarus crane (Gru santigone), purple swamp hen (Porphyrio porphyrio) and black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus); resident birds and other species such as the lesser whistling ducks;(Dendrocygna javanica; pheasant-tailed jacana, cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), purple heron and  little comorant (Phalacrocorax niger); greater spotted eagle ( Aquila clangga); Indian shimmer (Rynchops alhicolia).


Ecotourism Destination and Activities:

The Pandaung Hill Tribe where their long-necked women use  brass rings around their necks; village of the Intha, the local indigenous peoples, whose traditional cultural activities include use of  small traditional boats for transportation and for catching fish, leg rowing, floating markets, and vegetable gardens in floating islands; local pagoda festivals for environment al education and awareness; fishing using  distinctive conical rattan nets; boating; hiking and visiting archaeological sites;  natural hot springs; bird watching;  stores manufacturing and selling intricately crafted silverware and silver ornaments, Shan cloth satchels, exquisite textiles, handwoven garments, wooden dolls and  embroidered paintings; weaving done in a traditional way using a loom made of teakwood;  famous  Buddhist shrines, monasteries and pagodas.


Biological Richness: • 270 species of birds 
• 75 species of butterflies
• 3 new species of amphibians
• 20 species of snails
• 43 species of fish (16 species endemic to Inle Lake)
• 3 species of turtles
• 527 species of medicinal plants
• 134 species of orchids
• 292 species of Angiosperms (Monocot)
• 1,320 species of Angiosperms (Dicot)