Friday, January 11, 2013

Bengali forests are fading away

Zoological Society of London: Rapid deterioration in mangrove health is occurring in the Sundarbans, resulting in as much as 200m of coast disappearing in a single year.

A report published today (11th Jan) in Remote Sensing by scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) states that as human development thrives, and global temperature continues to rise, natural protection from tidal waves and cyclones is being degraded at alarming rates. This will inevitably lead to species loss in this richly biodiverse part of the world, if nothing is done to stop it.

ZSL’s Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, senior author of the paper says: “Our results indicate a rapidly retreating coastline that cannot be accounted for by the regular dynamics of the Sundarbans. Degradation is happening fast, weakening this natural shield for India and Bangladesh.”

The name ‘Sundarban’ can be literally translated as ‘beautiful forest’ in the Bengali language. The area is is the largest block of continuous mangrove forest in the world, being home to almost 500 species of reptile, fish, bird and mammals, including the endangered Bengal tiger.

Sarah Christie, ZSL’s tiger conservation expert says: “The Sundarbans is a critical tiger habitat; one of only a handful of remaining forests big enough to hold several hundred tigers. To lose the Sundarbans would be to move a step closer to the extinction of these majestic animals.”...

Mudlflat and clouds in the Sundarbans, shot by bri vos, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The news about Shrinking Sunderbans was not only timely in the sense that it had been published just after the publication of the report by London Zoological Society scientists, but also it focused on an urgent threat to India's ecology-environment and hence a threat to all citizens. Luckily there are some fellows who are trying, as far as i heard, to reverse the trend with the active participation and cooperation of the Sunderban people. They belong to a society called "NEWS" ( heard that they were planning to add some thousands of hectares of mangrove forest. Hope, someday we'll get what is happening there in your pages.