Sundarbans covers an area of 140,000 hectares and is one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. The Bay of Bengal has a cluster of low-lying islands spread across India and Bangladesh. It has 102 islands with 54 are inhabited.
The Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Padma, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers. Four of its protected areas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Indian Sundarbans mangrove forest was listed as endangered. The forests provide habitat to 453 fauna wildlife, including 290 birds, 120 fish, 42 mammals, 35 reptiles, and eight amphibian species.
Sundarbans Facts for Kids
- It’s is a Biosphere Reserve, a National Park, and a Tiger Reserve.
- Sundarbans is the world’s largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest.
- The Tiger Project conserves tigers in this rainforest.
- There are 400 majestic and fiery Royal Bengal Tigers here.
- It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987.
- Sundarbans Jungle gets its name from the large mangrove trees Sundari.
The Sundarbans provide a unique ecosystem and a rich wildlife habitat. Tiger attacks are common in the area but are becoming less frequent.
Mangrove trees are important habitat for many species of small fish and crustaceans. The Mangrove tree provides a transition from the marine to freshwater and terrestrial systems and is a critical habitat for many endangered species.
The management of wildlife in Bangladesh is restricted to protecting wildlife from poaching and to designating some areas as wildlife sanctuaries. The tiger and dolphin are both target species for planning wildlife management and tourism development.
The Biosphere Reserve is made up of a tiger reserve, a national park, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation and lodging centers, subsistence towns, and access points.
The Bangladesh part of the forest is divided into two forest divisions and four administrative ranges. It is further divided into fifty-five compartments and nine blocks.
The Sundarbans National Park is a Tiger Reserve, a Biosphere Reserve, and a National Park in West Bengal, India, and adjacent to the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh.
The Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary is a habitat for Sundari trees (Heritiera fomes), Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), Passur (Xylocarpus mekongensis), Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorhiza), and Nypa palm (Nypa fruticans).
The Sundarbans South Wildlife Sanctuary has the greatest seasonal variation in salinity and is characterized by the presence of Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) and Sundri (Ceriops tagal).
Sajnakhali Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many types of wildlife, including herons, pelicans, spotted deer, rhesus macaques, wild boar, royal Bengal tiger, water monitor lizards, fishing cats, otters, and olive ridley turtles.
A total of 334 plant species were recorded by David Prain in 1903 in Bangladesh’s mangrove forests, including the Sundari (Heritiera littoralis), keora (Sonneratia apetala), Kangra (Bruguiera gymnorhiza), and spear grass (Imperata cylindrica).
The Sundarbans contains different types of forests, including mangrove scrub, littoral forest, saltwater mixed forest, brackish water mixed forest and swamp forest, as well as extensive areas of brackish water and freshwater marshes, intertidal mudflats, sandflats, sand dunes, and raised areas supporting a variety of terrestrial shrubs and trees.
Species of Mammals
The Sundarbans is the only mangrove ecosystem that harbors the Indo-Pacific region’s largest terrestrial predator, the Bengal tiger, which hunts scarce prey such as chital deer, Indian muntjacs, wild boar, and macaque.
Species of Birds
Migratory waterbirds winter in the Sundarbans.
The Sunderban national park has about 248 species of birds, including a lot of migratory birds from higher latitudes that visit in winter
You will find birds like Herons, Sand Pipers, Seagulls, Small Spoonbills, Darters, Cormorants, Storks, Green Pigeons, Egrets, Partridges, great variety of Wild Geese and Ducks.