Tigers enter villages for shortage of herbivorous animals | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, July 11, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, July 11, 2009

Salinity Destroying Sundarbans Plants

Tigers enter villages for shortage of herbivorous animals


Food crisis in the Sundarbans is forcing tigers to enter human habitations as herbivorous animals, especially deer, see a gradual decrease there.
Adverse impact of climate change, environment pollution, infiltration of saline water and tidal surges is also threatening biodiversity of the forest, forest officials said.
As natural growth of trees, herbs and grass is disturbed due to infiltration of saline water in the coastal areas including a large part of the Sundarbans, herbivorous animals are decreasing and tigers enter human habitations in search of food, said Mihir Kumar Dey, divisional forest officer of Sundarbans Forest Division (SFD).
Over two crore people living around the coastal belts will also bear the brunt of adverse impact of climate change and food crisis if top priority is not given to check environment pollution, said another high official of SFD.
Climate change and food crisis is also causing behavioural change of animals in the forest while frequent cyclonic storms and tidal surges appear as threat to deer and tigers, said an official of the Environment Directorate in Khulna.
Tigers' tendency to come out of forest noticeably increased after cyclonic storms Sidr and Aila, DFO Mihir Kumar said.
During the last two weeks, people in Satkhira district beat dead two tigers as they entered villages in search of food and injured a few people.
According to a census carried out from February 26 to March 3 in 2003, there were 419 tigers in the Sundarbans. These include 170 tigresses.
According to sources of Sundarbans Forest Division, 145 tigers died due to several reasons since independence.
Since 2001, 26 tigers in the Sundarbans Forest Division died due to various reasons.
A few of them were beaten dead by people after the animals entered localities in search of food.
Forest officials should start awareness campaign among the people to protect biodiversity of the forest, said Rafiqul Islam, director of NGO Rupantar.
Meanwhile, five tranquilliser guns of the forest department have remained out of order for long, DFO Mihir Kumar said.

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