Sundarban Mangrove Forest Information

Sundarbans is a largest mangrove forest and its covers areas in India and Bangladesh. It’s a excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. Sundarban has 260 bird species, the royal Bengal tiger, Deer and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and python. The Sundarban mangrove forest located in the south-west of Bangladesh between the river Baleswar in the East and the Harinbanga in the West, adjoining to the Bay of Bengal is the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world. Sundarban Eco Resort is the first ever Eco Resort at Sundarban, the largest tropical mangrove forest of the world. It is located in a privately owned land at Dhangmari, Koromjal, Dakope, Khulna. Crowned at the confluence of sigmoid Dhangmari Khal and the River Pashur SER offers a unique location. Opposite the Sundarban Eco Resort is Mongla Sea Port well connected with capital Dhaka via Khulna and Satkhira. Koromjal Wildlife Rescue Centre is at close proximity to the resort. Located at the mouth of mangrove forest, Sundarban Eco Resort welcomes you to experience the unique nature of the Sundarbans, its forest, river, wildlife and green beauty of jungle. A third of this area is covered by water and marshes, as well Sundarbans since 1966 has been considered a sanctuary for wildlife because it is estimated that there live about 400 Royal Bengal Tigers and more than 30,000 deer in this area. Sundarban is the largest mangrove forest in the world (140,000 ha). Sundarban is one of the famous world heritage declared by UNESCO. Sundarban is the homeland of world famous Royal Bengal Tiger.About 30,000 beautiful spotted deer live in sundarban.There are over 120 different species of fish in Sundarban. In Sundarban, not less than 270 variety of birds are found. More than 50 species of reptiles have found in Sundarban. Eight species of amphibians are seen in Sundarban.
 

Tourism of Sundarban- The Sundarbans is unique scientific and biological interest & offers opportunities for tourism, outdoor recreation, biological research and conservation education. Some areas in the forest have been earmarked as protected. No forestry operations are carried out in these areas, which support a rich concentration of wildlife as well as vegetation, which has not been disturbed for decades. The Sundarbans has excellent potential for tourism and if properly developed, this could be a major source of foreign exchange for the country. Tourism numbers remain relatively low due to the difficult access, arranging transport and a lack of facilities including suitable accommodation. Mass tourism and its impacts are unlikely to affect the values of the property. While the legal protection afforded the property prohibit a number of activities within the boundaries illegal hunting, timber extraction and agricultural encroachment pose potential threats to the values of the property. Storms, cyclones and tidal surges up to 7.5 m high, while features of the areas, also pose a potential threat with possible increased frequency as a result of climate change.

The total area of the Sundarbans- reserved forest including the West Bengal portion, comprises of 10,000 sq. km., of which Bangladesh portion is approximately 6000 sq.km., inclusive of new emerging islands. The area is divided into 55 administrative forest compartments by the Department of forest and environment , each with a land area of 40 to 160 sq.km and divided into several islands. There are three wildlife sanctuary areas 'Kotka-Kachikhali Tiger point', 'Hironpoint' and 'Manderbaria', number of unexplored natural beaches, innumerable rivers, canals and creeks in the Sundarbans forest, one third of which is water body making the waterways as the only means to enter the forest. It is famous as the habitat for its semi-aquatic tigers, popularly known as the Royal Bengal Tiger. It has a fair amount of spotted deer, wild boar, rhesus monkey, salt-water crocodile, water monitor lizard, pythons, etc. The forest treasures 330 plant species, 35 species of reptiles, 400 types of fishes, 270 species of birds and 42 species of mammals. The Bengal tiger, biggest of the cat family, plays a very important role in the forest ecology as well as in the rich mythology and legend. Ranges of Sundarban  Sarankhola, Chandpai, Satkhira and Khulna. Main Rivers in this area Large and small tidal waterways providing opportunities for cruising and boating. Among the huge number of rivers Baleswar, Sela, Passur, Shibsha, Malancha, Raimongal & Kobadak are very important for the forest's ecology.

Royal Bengal Tiger- is a subspecies of tiger mainly found in Bangladesh, India, and also Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar and southern Tibet. Bangladesh national animal name is Royal Bengal Tiger. The Sundarbans of Bangladesh and India support one of the largest populations of Royal Bengal Tiger with an estimated 350 individuals. Other mammals include spotted deer and wild boar, three species of wild cat and Ganges River dolphin, which occurs in some of the larger waterways. Of the three species of otter, smooth-coated otter is domesticated by fishermen and used to drive fish into their nets.

Common Vegetation- in this sundarban area Kakra, Gewa, Amur, Goran, Garjan, Sundari, Kewra, Passur, Dhundul,  Kholshi, Bola, Hental, Nypa Palm, Tiger fern, Golpata and Horgoza etc.  

Common Birds of Sundarban Migratory- local migratory & local birds consist the bird life of the Sundarbans about 270 species are so far recorded. The great white egret, lesser adjutant stork, white bellied sea eagle, kites, masked finfoot, kingfishers, drongos, bee-eaters, woodpeckers, paddy field pipit, red jungle fowl are commonly found etc. Cuisine- Many different species of edible fish, prawns and crabs.

Geology of Sundarban- The surface geology consists entirely of quaternary sediments, sand and silt, intercalated with marine salt and clay. The Sundarbans mangroves grow on soil formations of recent origin consisting of alluvium washed down from the Himalayas. One of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world, the Sundarbans supports an exceptional level of biodiversity in both the terrestrial and marine environments, including significant populations of globally endangered cat species, such as the Royal Bengal Tiger. Population censuses of Royal Bengal Tigers estimate a population of between 400 to 450 individuals, a higher density than any other population of tigers in the world. The Sundarbans provides a significant example of on-going ecological processes as it represents the process of delta formation and the subsequent colonization of the newly formed deltaic islands and associated mangrove communities. These processes include monsoon rains, flooding, delta formation, tidal influence and plant colonization. As part of the world’s largest delta, formed from sediments deposited by three great rivers; the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, and covering the Bengal Basin, the land has been moulded by tidal action, resulting in a distinctive physiology.

Profession of Sundarban- The forest department since the beginning of the 1990s has stopped commercial wood felling. Considerable changes have taken place in the socio-economic structure in the habitations around the Sundarbans. The possibilities of pursuing the traditional professions have been dwindling too. But still the Woodcutters, Honey collectors, Fishermen and Mollusk shell collectors survive. About 3.5 million people of the impact zone of the forest either directly or indirectly dependent on forest product. Economy of Sundarban- It is the single largest source of forest produce in the country. According to the forest department's report the forest was producing about 45% of the total timber and fuel wood output from the forests of the country.

The Sundarbans is the biggest Delta- back water and tidal phenomenon of the region and thus provides diverse habitats for several hundreds of aquatic, terrestrial and amphibian species. The property is of sufficient size to adequately represent its considerably high floral and faunal diversity with all key values included within the boundaries. The site includes the entire landscape of mangrove habitats with an adequate surrounding area of aquatic (both marine and freshwater) and terrestrial habitats, and thus all the areas essential for the long term conservation of the Sundarbans and its rich and distinct biodiversity. The World Heritage property is comprised of three wildlife sanctuaries which form the core breeding area of a number of species of endangered wildlife. Areas of unique natural beauty, ethno botanical interest, special marine faunal interest, rivers, creeks, islands, swamps, estuaries, mud flats, and tidal flats are also included in the property. The boundaries of the property protect all major mangrove vegetation types, areas of high floral and faunal values and important bird areas. The integrity of the property is further enhanced by terrestrial and aquatic buffer zones that surround, but are not part of the inscribed property. The immense tidal mangrove forests of Bangladeshs’ Sundarbans Forest Reserve, is in reality a mosaic of islands of different shapes and sizes, perennially washed by brackish water shrilling in and around the endless and mind-boggling labyrinths of water channels. The site supports exceptional biodiversity in its terrestrial, aquatic and marine habitats; ranging from micro to macro flora and fauna. The Sundarbans is of universal importance for globally endangered species including the Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges and Irawadi dolphins, estuarine crocodiles and the critically endangered endemic river terrapin (Batagur baska).  It is the only mangrove habitat in the world for Panthera tigris tigris species.

Tropical Climate of Sundarban- Rainfall increases from west to east and the mean annual rainfall within the forest varies from about 2000mm in the east to 1600mm in the west. The four main seasons are pre-monsoon (March-May), monsoon (June-September), post-monsoon (October-November), and the dry winter season (December-February). The coolest temperature occurs during December-January and the warmest at the end of the dry season, during May-June. Natural calamities such as cyclones, have always posed threats on the values of the property and along with saline water intrusion and siltation, remain potential threats to the attributes. Cyclones and tidal waves cause some damage to the forest along the sea-land interface and have previoulsy caused occasional considerable mortality among some species of fauna such as the spotted deer. Over exploitation of both timber resources and fauna, illegal hanting and trapping, and agricultural encroachment also pose serious threats to the values of the property and its overall integrity. Environment of Sundarban- Natural delta development cannot, therefore, be separated from human interventions, which have always been a part of this process. While natural phenomena such as subsidence and earthquakes and stochastic events like cyclones & tidal surges affect the costal system in many ways, their effects have been exacerbated by human activities.


Characteristics of Bangladeshi Tigers- The Royal Bengal Tiger


The tiger is one of the largest and most awesome predators in the Bangladesh. This species undoubtedly fascinates every eye it meets. The body length of the majestic male ranges from 275-290 cm and of the female around 260 cm, the size and colour vary according to the geographic location and climate of Sundarban in Bangladesh. Tiger is solitary and territorial and the territory of an adult male may encompass territories of two to seven females. It is carnivorous and hunts for prey primarily by sight and sound. Bangladeshi, Royal Bengal Tigers feeds deer wild pig and sometimes hunting others animal. Tigers are the largest members of the cat family in Bangladesh and are renowned for their power and strength. Royal Bengal tigers live in Bangladesh and are sometimes called Bangladeshi tigers. They are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers. Over many centuries they have become an important part of Bangladesh tradition and lore. Bangladeshi Tigers are mostly solitary, apart from mother-offspring associations. However, individuals living close to one another may display sociable behaviour and at times, adults may even share a kill. Bangladeshi Tigers have dens in caves, tree hollows and dense vegetation. They are mostly nocturnal but in the northern part of its range, the Amur subspecies may also be active during the day in winter. Individual tigers have a large territory. Unless they die, Bangladeshi tigers are never replaced on their range.

Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans; however, a few do become dangerous maneaters. These animals are often sick and unable to hunt normally, or live in an area where their traditional prey has vanished. Females Bangladeshi Tiger give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male. Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years, when they disperse to find their own territory. There were eight tiger subspecies at one time, but three became extinct during the 20th century. Over the last 100 years, hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands of animals to perhaps fewer than 2,500. Tigers are hunted as trophies, and also for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. All five remaining tiger subspecies are endangered, and many protection programs are in place. Although Bangladeshi tigers can mate at any time, breeding is more frequent from November to April. On average, Bangladeshi tigers give birth to 2-3 cubs every 2-2.5 years, and sometimes every 3-4 years. If all the cubs die, a second litter may be produced within 5 months. Gestation is usually 104-106 days and births occur in a cave, a rocky crevice, or in dense vegetation. Tigers generally gain independence at 2 years of age and attain sexual maturity at 3-4 years for females and at 4-5 years for males. Juvenile mortality is high however: about half of all cubs do not survive more than 2 years. Tigers have been known to reach the age of 26 years in the wild.


Tigers in Bangladesh- are now relegated to the forests of the Sundarbans and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Chittagong forest is contiguous with tiger habitat in India and Myanmar, but the tiger population is of unknown status. As of 2004, population estimates in Bangladesh ranged from 200 to 419, mostly in the Sundarbans. This region is the only mangrove habitat in this bioregion, where tigers survive, swimming between islands in the delta to hunt prey. Bangladesh's Forest Department is raising mangrove plantations supplying forage for spotted deer. Since 2001, afforestation has continued on a small scale in newly accreted lands and islands of the Sundarbans. From October 2005 to January 2007, the first camera-trap survey was conducted across six sites in the Bangladesh Sundarbans to estimate tiger population density. The average of these six sites provided an estimate of 3.7 tigers per 100 km2 (39 sq mi). Since the Bangladesh Sundarbans is an area of 5,770 km2 (2,230 sq mi) it was inferred that the total tiger population comprised approximately 200 individuals. In another study, home ranges of adult female tigers were recorded comprising between 12 and 14 km2 (4.6 and 5.4 sq mi). which would indicate an approximate carrying capacity of 150 adult females. The small home range of adult female tigers (and consequent high density of tigers) in this habitat type relative to other areas may be related to both the high density of prey and the small size of the Sundarbans tigers. Since 2007 tiger monitoring surveys have been carried out every year by WildTeam in the Bangladesh Sundarbans to monitor changes in the Bangladesh tiger population and assess the effectiveness of conservation actions. This survey measures changes in the frequency of tiger track sets along the sides of tidal waterways as an index of relative tiger abundance across the Sundarbans landscape.