Poaching of tigers and its preys in the Sundarbans, commercial boat traffic through different channels and development activities within and near the world’s largest mangrove forest is threatening the Bengal tiger population.
Now only 106 of the big cats are left in Bangladesh, according to a recent census. In total, only 170 tigers live in Bangladesh and Indian parts of the forests.
The report came out just two days ahead of the International Tigers Day, held annually on July 29, to create awareness on tiger conservation.
When asked about the census result, eminent tiger expert Professor Dr Monirul H Khan said it’s true that the number of the tiger has decreased.
In 2004, a pugmark survey estimated some 668 in both parts of the Sundarbans with 440 in Bangladesh part alone.
“The tiger census in 2004 was totally unscientific. But this time it was conducted in a scientific way. So the tiger population decreased but not that it has decreased to 106 from 440,” said Dr Monirul.
Actually, the tiger population was not as high as 440 in 2004, he said, adding he himself conducted a 2006 survey which found around 200 tigers in the forest.