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Plants and Animals

The Sundarbans – world’s largest mangrove forest

The Sundarbans forest covers approximately 10,000 square kilometers in India and Bangladesh, with India accounting for 40% of the total area. It is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species, including the estuarine crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), Water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), Gangetic dolphin (Platinista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Platinista (Lepidochelys olivacea). The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and the 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division in India are the only mangrove forests in the world where tigers may be found, together with the forest in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans are the world’s biggest continuous mangrove forest.

River channels, canals, and tidal streams, ranging in width from a few meters to five kilometers, encompass almost a third of the entire area of this forest. The Bangladeshi side of the forest is characterized by towering mangroves, with a tropical marine climate that sees a lot of rain during the monsoon season. It’s pleasant and dry during the winter.

Sundarban is also home to the world’s sole tiger population, making it the world’s only mangrove forest with a tiger population. According to the 2004 census, the tiger population in the Indian Sundarban is estimated to be approximately 2,000. There are 58 mammalian species, 55 reptile species, and 248 avian species.

Many unique and internationally vulnerable animal species call it home, including the estuary crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), Gangetic dolphin (Platinista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The forest in India is separated into the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and the 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, and it is the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers may be found, together with the forest in Bangladesh. Sharks and rays of six distinct species may be found here.

Quick facts about Sundarban

  1. In 1987, the Sundarbans National Park was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  2. The Sundarbans Jungle is named after the Sundari mangrove plants.

  3. The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve is home to 400 beautiful and ferocious Royal Bengal Tigers, according to estimates. So, go out of the city jungles and see the only area on Earth with the highest concentration of this enormous cat.

  4. Sundarban is one of South Asia’s poorest and most densely inhabited areas. It has an estimated population of 8 million people.

  5. On the Indian side of this vast mangrove forest, Gosaba is the largest and last inhabited island.

The NGO “Unnayan Onneshon” has completed a decade-long study on the Sundarbans’ forest acreage and density, which found that the number of trees in the forest has been falling substantially. As the forest is lost, the amount of fallow land is growing. Over the previous two decades, the thick forest has practically halved (2000-20). The tree density has thinned out and the forest area has begun to diminish as a result of the massive removal of thick forest in the first decade (2000-10). The growth in fallow areas was slower at first, but during the next decade, it nearly doubled (2010-20). Although trees may be observed in the forest’s surrounding areas, significant portions within it are almost vacant or have few trees.

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