The number of tigers in the Sunderbans reserve forest in West Bengal has increased to 96 from the previous estimate of 88, according to an official report dated the 6th May 2020.
The latest census, shows the number of tigers in the Sunderbans reserve forest in West Bengal has increased to 96.The census was conducted by the West Bengal forest department between November 2019 and January 2020.
Highlights of the Census:
- The forest has a total area of around 3700 sq km.
- There are two tiger zones in the area. One is Sundarban Tiger reserve which is about 2,585 sq km and the other one is 1,111 sq. km.
- This time the tiger census showed 96 Royal Bengal Tigers in total where as the national data last July showed only 88 tigers in the mangroves.The number has gone up by eight.
- Out of 96 tigers, there are 23 males, 43 females and 30 cubs.
- This is the first time in the history of the Sunderbans tiger census that the number of big cats shot up by eight from previous such exercise.
- There is a need to increase the mangrove cover to provide for more space to tigers.
- The rise in tiger population can be attributed to conducive habitat including ideal mating condition.
- The rise in big cat population proves that they are secure under the surveillance of the forest officials and employees.
- The latest census was done primarily by camera trapping technique along with some other latest methods.
- About 200 trap cameras were set up in different parts of the forest for about two months. The counting exercise, done in a lab in Dehradun, involves comparison of the images of tigers based on their stripes, adding that the big cats were identified through their stripe patterns.
- IUCN Status of Bengal Tiger- Endangered.
About Sunderbans National Park:
The Sundarbans National Park is a national park, tiger reserve, and biosphere reserve in West Bengal, India. It is part of the Sundarbans on the Ganges Delta, and adjacent to the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. The delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. The present Sundarban National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. On 4 May 1984 it was declared a national park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1987 and it has been designated as a Ramsar site since 2019. It is considered as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve (Man and Biosphere Reserve) from 1989.
Global Tiger Forum
The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is the only inter- governmental international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger.Utilizing co-operative policies, common approaches, technical expertise, scientific modules and other appropriate programmes and controls the GTF is focused on saving the remaining 5 sub-species of Tigers distributed over 13 Tiger Range countries of the world.The GTF was formed in 1993 on recommendations from an international symposium on Tiger Conservation at New Delhi, India.The first meeting of the Tiger Range countries to setup the forum was held in 1994, in which India was elected to the Chair and was asked to form an interim secretariat.In 1997, the GTF became an independent organization. Bangladesh was Chair twice followed by Nepal. India was elected as Chair in March 2011, replaced by Bhutan in 2014.The GTF has a General Assembly meeting every 3 years and Standing committee meetings at least once a year.A Chairperson, usually a Minister from one of the Tiger Range countries heads GTF for a fixed tenure of 3 Years. The Secretariat of GTF is headed by a Secretary General and is located in New Delhi, India.Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji is Bhutan’s second democratically elected Minister of Agriculture and Forests is the chairperson at present.