It is highly disquieting that the Royal Bengal Tiger, one of the most valued species of tigers in the world, appears to be on an extinction course in its home, the Sundarbans. A recent census shows that now only 106 big cats are left in our part of the Sundarbans.
According to the report, poaching of tigers and their preys, commercial traffic through their habitat and ever increasing development activities in the Sundarbans are major reasons behind such a steep decline of tiger population. It also reveals the poor status on tiger conservation projects. Experts say, projects like Rampal power plant will further affect the tiger conservation programmes. We wonder what role the Department of Forest has been playing to arrest the dwindling tiger population which is concerning for biodiversity in the world's largest mangrove forest.
As the tigers are nearing a point of extinction, priority projects should be undertaken to facilitate procreation of this endangered species. A task force should be formed to keep track on the progress of tiger conservation projects through regular pugmark surveys. The government should keep the tiger habitat out of harmful projects. We must now unambiguously adopt the policy of protecting
bio-diversity of the Sundarbans rather than allowing it to be damaged in the name of development.