The forest department has issued a special alert in the Sundarbans following killing of six "tiger poachers" in a "gunfight" with police and recovery of three tiger skins from the world’s largest mangrove earlier this month.
Besides, the department has intensified its patrol in the forest reshuffling the postings its department, according to officials.
Talking to UNB, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the Sundarbans East Zone Md Saidul Islam said, “Scores of measures have been taken to prevent the hunting and poaching of the wildlife, including the tiger and deer. Special alert has been issued in the Sundarbans, while the patrol intensified.”
Among other steps, a three-member special team has been formed to coordinate the vigilance while posting of the department’s staff are being reshuffled, he noted.
If the staff show negligence in their duty, steps will be taken against them, said the DFO adding that the department has already suspended four staff, including Amurbunia camp in-charge Abdur Rahman, for negligence.
Md Zahir Uddin Ahmed, DFO of the Sundarbans (west zone), said in addition to increasing the vigilance, steps are required to adopt scientific methods for tackling the ‘tiger-human conflict’.
Sincere measures should be taken to safely push back those tigers that often stray in the villages adjacent to the forest, he added.
Contacted, Wild Team Chief Executive Prof Dr Md Anwarul Islam said the tiger population in the Sundarbans is at stake due to the poachers’ activities as well as the deterioration in the forest environment.
According to the forest department, 40 tigers were killed in the Sundarbans over the last 14 years.
According to the tiger census conducted by the government in 2004, the Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans had been an abode to 440 tigers. However, in the latest survey, only 106 tigers were found in its Bangladesh part.