Monday, June 24, 2024

Saving tigers of Sundarbans

Foresters’ training on tiger conservation launched
Department of forest has launched a training programme for foresters as well as people to develop their wildlife conservation skill following the backdrop of extinction of tigers particularly the rare species of Royal Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans due to human-tiger confrontation.
State Minister for Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahmud inaugurated the training programme at a function at Ban Bhaban here on Monday.
Bangladesh Forest Department and Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) have jointly organised the first ever tranquillising training programme in the country under eight years Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan.
Every year, on an average 15 to 16 people die in human-tiger confrontation while retaliatory killing rate of Royal Bengal Tiger is about three to four.
When tigers are found in villages or neighbouring fields, people often killed them in retaliation, posing additional sources of tiger loss and long-term impact on viability of the tiger population.
“The training will help foresters save the ‘problem tigers’ intruding into localities to hunt,” said Chief Executive of the WTB Anwarul Islam.
He said the tiger that was killed in Satkhira on Friday could have been saved if forest officials had proper training and tranquillising equipment.
According to World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), the population of wild tiger is now about 3,200 in 14 Tiger Range Countries (TRC), which was recorded as many as one lakh in the beginning of the 20th century.
Bangladesh’s Sundarbans, a single unique bio-climatic zone in the world, is the largest habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger with a population of estimated 400 to 450 tigers now.
Dr Hasan said tiger stands as symbol valor and heritage of Bangladesh. Different species of tigers, including Balinese tigers and Caspian tigers, have already been disappeared from the world.
“The Royal Bengal Tiger, one of the last species, would also be extinct without a programme for long term conservation objectives”, he said.
He said the presence of the tiger has helped shape human culture. Most tiger populations are small and therefore more vulnerable to extinction, he said.
Dr Hasan said the Sundarbans forest represents a last stronghold for Royal Bengal Tiger. So, Bangladesh has a big responsibility to secure this national treasure and ensure the continued existence of the species on the earth, he told the forest officials.
Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forest Mihir Kanti Majumder, noted wildlife expert Anawarul Islam, John Lewis of London Zoo, Adam CD Barlow also addressed the function, while Chief Conservator of Forest Abul Motaleb chaired it.
The officials said the practical part of the training would take place at Dulhazara Safari Park in Chokoriya.
For outstanding natural value, the World Heritage committee of UNESCO inscribed the Sundarban of Bangladesh in the World Heritage list in their 21st session in 1997 and accordingly the Government of Bangladesh declared the Sundarban as World Heritage Site in 1999. According to a new World Wildlife Fund’s study, One of the world’s largest tiger populations could disappear by the end of this century as rising sea levels caused by climate change destroy their habitat in the Sundarbans along the coast of Bangladesh. Source

Image courtesy: Ministry of environment and forest via The Daily Star

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