Posted by: Joydip & Suchandra Kundu on
Feb 22, 2010
Kolkata: Spreading human habitat in the Sunderbans has resulted in a drop in the tigers’ territory, leading to frequent incidents of straying.
“Tigers have adapted to a life in the mangroves and crabs constitute an important part of their diet. Though tigers are a highly adaptable species, occupying territory from the snowy forests of Russia to the tropics of Indonesia, the projected sea level rise in the Sunderbans may outpace the animal’s ability to adapt,” a WWF source said. There are no accurate estimates, but conservationists estimate the mangroves could be home to up to 400 big cats.
The sea level rise will also have an impact on people whose livelihood depends on the Sunderbans. The mangroves protect human habitation from cyclones and other natural disasters.
WWF has recommended that governments and natural resource managers take immediate steps to conserve and expand mangroves while preventing poaching and retaliatory killing of tigers. Neighbouring countries should increase sediment delivery and freshwater flows to the coastal region to support agriculture and replenishment of the land.
_Jayanta Gupta | TNN