Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024










Large Mammals of  Southeast Asia

Of the many thousands of mammal species in the world, at least 1000 occur in Southeast Asia, and around 40% of these are bats.  Many of the region's larger mammals are forest-dependant, which makes them difficult to study. Some, such as the Asian Elephant, are well known, but the region also has many lesser known species, such as the Chinese Serow and the increasingly endangered insect-eating pangolins.


(Perissodactyla, Rhinocerotidae)

SE Asia : 2 species (worldwide 5 species)

(Perissodactyla, Tapiridae)
SE Asia : 1 species (worldwide 5 species)

Sumatran Rhinoceros
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis
  Javan Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros sondaicus
  Asian Tapir
Tapirus indicus

(Proboscidea, Elephantidae)
SE Asia : 1 species (worldwide 3 species)

(Sirenia, Dugongidae & Trichechidae)
SE Asia : 1 species (worldwide 4 species)

Asian Elephant
Elephas maximus
Dugong dugon

Pangolins  (Pholidota)   Worldwide eight species of pangolin are recognised, 3 of which occur in Southeast Asia. The Sunda Pangolin inhabits southerly parts of the region, and the Chinese Pangolin occurs in the north. The rarest species is the Palawan Pangolin Manis culionensis, which only occurs in the Philippines. Pangolins are critically endangered: they are intensively hunted for their meat and for their scales, which are used in traditional medicine.
SE Asia : 3 species (worldwide 8 species)

Palawan Pangolin
Manis culionensis
  Sunda Pangolin
Manis javanica
  Chinese Pangolin
Manis pentadactyla

Cattle, Buffalo etc. (Cetartiodactyla, Bovinae) 
SE Asia : 8 species (worldwide >25 species)

      Other SE Asia species :
Bos sauveli - Kouprey
Bubalus depressicornis - Lowland Anoa
Bubalus quarlesi - Mountain Anoa
Bubalus mindorensis - Tamaraw
Pseudoryx nghetinhensis - Saola
Bos gaurus    
Bos javanicus      
  Wild Water Buffalo
Buvalus arnee        

Goats, Sheep etc. (Cetartiodactyla, Caprinae) 
SE Asia : 8 species (worldwide >35 species)

      Other SE Asia species :
Budorcas taxicolor - Takin
Capricornis rubidus - Red Serow
Naemorhedus caudatus - Long-tailed Goral
Naemorhedus baileyi - Red Goral
Naemorhedus griseus - Chinese Goral
Chinese Serow 
Capricornis milneedwardsii
  Southern Serow 
Capricornis sumatraensis 
  Bharal or Blue Sheep
Pseudois nayaur

Pigs  (Cetartiodactyla, Suidae) 
SE Asia : 11 species (worldwide 21 species)


    Other SE Asia species :
Sus ahoenobarbus - Palawan Bearded Pig
Sus bucculentus - Indo-chinese Warty Pig
Sus cebifrons - Visayan Warty Pig
Sus celebensis - Sulawesi Warty Pig
Sus oliveri - Oliver's or Mindoro Warty Pig
Sus philippensis - Philippine Warty Pig
Sus verrucosus - Javan Warty Pig (+ Bawean Warty Pig)
Babyrousa babyrussa - Hairy Babirusa
Babyrousa celebensis - Sulawesi Babirusa
Babyrousa togeanensis - Togian Islands Babirusa
Bearded Pig 
Sus barbatus      
  Eurasian Wild Pig
Sus scrofa       

Mousedeer (chevrotains)  (Cetartiodactyla, Tragulidae)  Mousedeer are a group of small ungulates that inhabit shaded forest. In Southeast Asia there are 6 species in the genus Tragulus, including the smallest hoofed mammal in the world, the Lesser Mousedeer which weighs just over 2 kg. These quiet, forest-floor dwellers have distinctive white throat markings, skinny legs and assume a humped posture when searching for food. They are mainly solitary. Some species are diurnal and others nocturnal.
SE Asia : 5 or 6 species (worldwide 9 or 10 species)

      Other SE Asia species :
Tragulus javanicus - Java Mousedeer
Tragulus nigricans - Philippine Mousedeer
Tragulus williamsoni - Williamson's Mousedeer (?)
Lesser Mousedeer
Tragulus kanchil     
  Greater Mousedeer
Tragulus napu     
  Silver-backed Mousedeer
Tragulus versicolor   

Deer  (Cetartiodactyla, Cervidae)
SE Asia : 18 species (worldwide >90 species)

      Other SE Asia species :
Muntiacus feae - Fea's Muntjac
Muntiacus montanus - Sumatran Mountain Muntjac
Muntiacus puhoatensis- Puhoat Muntjac
Muntiacus putaoensis - Leaf Muntjac
Muntiacus rooseveltorum - Roosevelts' Muntjac
Muntiacus truongsonensis - Annamite Muntjac
Muntiacus vaginalis - Northern Red Muntjac
Muntiacus vuquangensis - Large-antlered Muntjac
Rucervus eldii - Eld's Deer
Rusa alfredi - Philippine Spotted Deer
Rusa marianna - Philippine Deer
Hog Deer
Axis porcinus
  Bornean Yellow Muntjac
Muntiacus atherodes
  Red Muntjac
Muntiacus muntjak  
Javan Rusa
Rusa timorensis
Rusa unicolor  

Toothed Whales, Dolphins etc.  (Cetartiodactyla, Cetacea, Odontoceti)  
SE Asia : 23 species (worldwide ~75 species)

        Other SE Asia species :
Physeter macrocephalus - Great Sperm Whale
Kogia breviceps - Pygmy Sperm Whale
Kogia sima - Dwarf Sperm Whale

Ziphius cavirostris - Cuvier's Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon densirostris - Blainville's Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon ginkgodens - Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale

Feresa attenuata - Pygmy Killer Whale
Globicephala macrorhynchus - Short-finned Pilot Whale
Peponocephala electra - Melon-headed Whale
Pseudorca crassidens - False Killer Whale

Delphinus capensis - Long-beaked Common Dolphin
Grampus griseus - Risso's Dolphin
Lagenodelphis hosei - Fraser's Dolphin
Orcaella brevirostris - Irrawaddy Dolphin
Stenella attenuata - Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
Stenella coeruleoalba - Striped Dolphin
Steno bredanensis - Rough-toothed Dolphin

Neophocaena phocaenoides - Finless Porpoise
Killer Whale
Orcinus orca   
  Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin
Sousa chinensis 
Spinner Dolphin
Stenella longirostris
Bottlenose Dolphin
Tursiops aduncus
  Common Bottlenose
Tursiops truncatus

Baleen Whales  (Cetartiodactyla, Cetacea, Mysticeti)  
SE Asia : 6 species (worldwide 15 species)

          Other SE Asia species :
Balaenoptera acutorostrata - Minke Whale
Balaenoptera borealis - Sei Whale
Balaenoptera edeni - Bryde's Whale
Balaenoptera musculus - Blue Whale
Balaenoptera physalus - Fin Whale
Humpback Whale
Megaptera novaeangliae