Finding the Fascinating Finfoots

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Cruising through a canal after dusk in the heart of the tiger-swamp certainly sounds most daunting. The glimmering eyes of fish owls perched on overhanging trees, alarm calls of spotted deer, and the soothing sounds of the rowing boat make for a enthralling journey, whose climax reaches its highest peak if a tiger roars close by! Those who have spent a little time in the mangroves of the Sundarbans would clearly understand what I am trying to portray, and the … Read More

Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Bangladesh

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The first specimen of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) was collected in mid-19th century from Bangladesh. The country also holds the record for the highest single count of the bird anywhere in the world — 202 birds in 1989 from Moulevir Char (Bakewell & Howes 1989)!

That was history.

The bird has since undergone a drastic decline in its population. According to Birdlife International, this charismatic species is listed as Critically Endangered because of its extremely small population … Read More

Swamp tiger, Sundarbans

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The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic (saline) mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans covers approximately 10,000 square kilometres, of which 60 percent is in Bangladesh, and the remainder in India. The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Like many species of the Sundarbans, its tigers too remain highly understudied. Though it is a known fact that the big cats love water, these mangrove specialists are a step ahead and are excellent swimmers. Sundarban … Read More

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation in Bangladesh

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Considering its grim current global status, a group of young ornithologists in Bangladesh took up the challenge to save the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper in 2009, when they began the Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project (BSCP).

Their surveys confirmed that Bangladesh is an extremely important wintering ground for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and identified Sonadia Island (near Cox’s Bazar) as the key wintering site and Domar Char as a stopover (passage) site in the country. In Sonadia Island, they found evidence … Read More

Mega World Bank Project to Conserve and Develop Sundarbans

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A mega project is being undertaken by the World Bank, to conserve the biodiversity of the Sundarbans and to develop the regio socio-economically. This is based on a recommendation from the planning commission of India. The project will be completed by the end of the year. The State minister for Sundarbans Affairs has said that steps will also be taken to develop the site as a major tourist destination. There is concern from environmentalists though that the region is already … Read More

Huge Haul of Dried Turtles Intercepted in Bangladesh

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Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops have intercepted around 120 kg of dried turtles being smuggled from India into Bangladesh. This is the largest haul in the region. A kilogram of dried turtle can fetch around $140 in the international market. Dried turtles are used for soups and in oriental medicine. The region has seen an increase in smuggling of live as well as dried turtles. Bangladesh is said to be turning into a transit point for wild animal trade into … Read More