Sundarbans ecosystem, biodiversity Improving

City Desk :
The ecosystem and biodiversity in the Sundarbans have witnessed progress in recent years due to various programs of the government taken to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest.

A 2023 survey of the Forest Department shows there were 140,357 chital deer, also known as spotted deer, in the Sundarbans in 2023, while its number was only around 83,000 in 2004, reports BSS.

The wild boar population was around 45,110 in the forest in 2023 against 28,000 in 2004. The number of monkeys was about 152,444 in 2023, while 51,000 in 2004.

The survey also revealed that there were 25,124 monitor lizards and 12,241 porcupines in the mangrove forest in 2023.

Forest conservators said the survey findings proved that various pragmatic steps that the government has taken to conserve the Sundarbans have played a role in enhancing the number of wildlife in the forest.

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In the past, the Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans was considered one of the sources of revenue, and approval was given to fell trees from the forest on a commercial basis.

At present, the government has imposed restrictions on cutting trees in the Sundarbans till 2030 aiming to conserve its ecosystem and biodiversity.

The Forest Department now allows the local people to only harvest secondary forest resources like fish, crabs, honey and golpata on a seasonal basis, forest officials said.

According to an official document obtained by BSS, three areas of the Sundarbans were declared as wildlife sanctuaries with 1,397 square kilometres in 1996, which was 23.21% of the total forest.

The protected area was increased to about 3,180 square kilometres in 2017.