Bangladesh part of Sundarbans forest witnessed a rapid decline in the tiger population between 2004 and 2015. This was revealed by the Tiger Census 2015 in the fourth week of July 2015.
As per the Tiger Census 2015, the number of tigers in Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans declined sharply from 440 in 2004 to 106 in 2015. Sunderbans in Bangladesh are spread over 6097 sq.km and are the only natural habitat of the country.
The fall was attributed to loss of habitat, unchecked wildlife poaching, lack of proper forest management and animal-human conflict in the forest.
The methodology used to conduct the Census 2015 was use of hidden cameras to count tigers as compared to earlier methodology of counting pug marks. This means the number this time are more accurate than past.
The Tiger Census 2015 was conducted by Bangladesh-India Joint Tiger Census Project and was carried out under Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia Project with funding from the World Bank.
Royal Bengal tigers live mainly in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. Out of 2226 Bengal tigers found in India, 74 live in Indian side of Sunderbans, which makes up almost 40 per cent of the world’s largest mangrove forest that straddles 10000 sq. km in India and Bangladesh.
The worldwide Tiger Forum in 2010 declared their collective political will to take all necessary actions to prevent the extinction of wild tigers and increasing global tiger population double by 2022.
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Who: Tiger Census 2015
Where: Sundarbans in Bangladesh
When: Fourth week of July 2015