With the aim to control and take rapid action against wildlife trafficking, the government launched a hotline for receiving information on poaching on monday.
The hotline number (01755660033), will allow callers to reach eight officials, including seven divisional and a central, responsible for wildlife crime control.
“It will make the wildlife trafficking control programme easier for forest officials,” said Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmud while inaugurating the hotline at a discussion program on Global Tiger Day in the city’s Osmani Memorial auditorium.
Global Tiger Day was established in 2010 at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit, where tiger range countries declared their aim to double wild tiger numbers by 2022.
The theme this year was “Save tiger, protect mother-like Sundarbans.”
The global tiger population, spread across 13 countries, has dropped from 100,000 to 3,000 over the last century.
The largest tiger habitat is the Bangladeshi Sundarbans, which hosts about 440 Royal Bengal Tigers, according to official statistics of the Forest Department.
However, a recent Wild Team study held last year said the number of Bengal Tigers had decreased by 69% over the last four years due to illegal poaching and trafficking.
The study also said poaching deer for the consumption of its meat creates a shortage in the tigers’ food, as deer make up almost 80% of their diet.
Speaking at the discussion, Dr Reza Khan, former professor at the University of Dhaka said the government should create alternative livelihoods for people dependent on the Sundarbans’ resources because many of them engage in poaching.
Shafiqur Rahman Patoary, secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forest; Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad, country representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature; Yunus Ali, chief conservator of forest; and Christine E Kimes, acting country director of World Bank Bangladesh were present at the programme.