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Drones to be used to monitor Sundarbans

  • Published at 12:14 pm September 9th, 2019
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File photo of a canal in the Sundarbans Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Net-fences also considered by Forest Department around the forest

The Forest Department has plans to monitor the Sundarbans, world's largest mangrove forest and a Unesco world heritage site, using drones to check crimes like poaching of tigers and deer.

The department is also considering to erect net-fence around the forest to prevent the intrusion of tigers into the localities.

The new moves came after the Indian forest department succeeded in checking such crimes and tiger attacks successfully after implementing the two initiatives on their part of the Sundarbans.

Deputy Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Habibun Nahar has recently said all kinds of measures will be taken to beef up security in the coastal region, including the Sundarbans, through the use of modern technology.

Sources at the local Forest Department said various crimes, including felling of trees, catching fish defying ban, and the poaching of tigers and deer are going on in the Sundarbans.

File photo of Royal Bengal Tigers in the Sundarbans | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka TribuneBesides, there is huge presence of sea and forest robbers.

To check such crimes, the Forest Department is planning to deploy drones, Md Amir Hossain Chowdhury, deputy chief conservator of forest said.

"Drones will play an effective role in checking illegal intrusion into the Sundarbans, poaching and robberies, and identifying illegally net fishing in the forest," he added.

Besides, tigers invade localities very often in search of food.

According to the Forest Department data, a total of 14 tigers were beaten to death by locals after they entered into villages in the last two decades.

Under the circumstances, the move to erect the net-fence around the Sundarbans was taken to prevent the movement of tigers into localities, sources said, adding that India was successful after taking similar measures.

The Sundarbans is home to millions of species of animals, including the spotted deer | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka TribuneMd Modinul Ahsan, Khulna divisional forest officer of Wildlife Management and Nature Conversation Division, said they forwarded the project to erect the net-fence around the Sundarbans to the government.

"Besides, the issue of monitoring the Sundarbans with modern technology will be there in the project," he further said.

Rafiqul Islam Khokon, adviser to the Sundarbans Academy, told UNB that using modern technologies like drone can save the mangrove forest. "It's possible to monitor the Sundarbans through drones and observe what happens inside the forest," he said.

He also said if the sources of drinkable water and food for tigers can be ensured, they will not invade localities. "And it can be known beforehand through this modern technology whether tigers are entering any locality."