• Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018
  • Last Update : 01:16 am

Govt to take tiger density census in the Sundarbans

  • Published at 12:23 am November 6th, 2016
Govt to take tiger density census in the Sundarbans
The Forest Department in collaboration with a USAID funded Bengal Tiger Conservation Activity (Bagh) project will conduct the survey by camera trapping. “We are planning to use around 300 cameras to take the survey in known tiger hotspots of the mangrove forest,” said Md Sayeed Ali, divisional forest officer of Sundarbans West Zone. “This is not a complete survey which can determine the Tiger population rather it will help us understand the density of the Tiger population in our country,” he added. According to the latest study titled “Tiger Abundance in Bangladesh Sundarbans” that was held  between 2013 and 2014, the current number of Bengal Tiger in Bangladesh is 106 from 440 in 2008. The study was also conducted by camera trapping method under a regional wildlife protection project funded by the World Bank for both Bangladesh and the Indian portions of the Sundarbans. It was conducted at three areas- Kotka-Kochikhali (360 sq-km), Koikhali (365 sq-km) and Neelkomol (624 sq-km) of the Sundarbans. This year they are planning to extend the survey area, the forest official said. The latest survey blamed human intervention as well as excessive navigation inside the Sundarbans, poaching and development of industrial infrastructures in and around the forest as the reason behind the drastic fall in the Bengal Tiger population in Bangladesh. There was an allegation that the survey conducted by the World Bank funded regional wildlife protection project, had used ‘live bait’ to lure tigers to the cameras, which goes against the direction provided by The Bangladesh Wildlife Protection and Safety Act 2012. Sayeed Ali told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are yet to fix the mechanism of this year’s survey,” referring the World Bank study. According to government statistics, the Sundarbans consists of 6,017 sq-km, which is 4.07% of the total land mass of the country and 40% of Bangladesh’s forest land. A total of 1,397 sq-km area of the Sundarbans divided in three sanctuaries has been declared as World Heritage Site.