One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Sundarbans are a vast forest land on the Bay of Bengal’s coast. This stunning woodland extends across the Bangladeshi districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Patuakhali, and Barguna in the delta region of the Padma, Meghna, and Brahmaputra rivers. As the world’s largest mangrove forest, located in a salty coastal environment, the Sundarbans are the largest continuous forest in the world. Bangladesh is home to 6017 square kilometres of the Sundarbans’ total 10,000 square kilometres. In 1997, UNESCO designated the Sundarbans as a World Heritage Site. The UNESCO World Heritage List distinguishes between the “Sundarbans” in Bangladesh and the “Sundarbans National Park” in India, despite the fact that these two locations are actually on the same continuous piece of land. Marine streams, mud chars, and small islands with the salinity of mangrove forests form a net around the Sundarbans. River drains, creeks, and beels account for about 31.1%, or 1,874 square kilometres, of the total forest land area. The forest is also home to a wide variety of birds, chitra deer, crocodiles, and snakes, in addition to the aforementioned Royal Bengal Tiger. An estimated 30,000 Chitra deer and 500 tigers call the Sundarbans home. The Ramsar Convention was officially established in the Sundarbans on May 21, 1992.
The name Sundarbans refers to the beautiful forests of Bengal, hence the name. The stunning tree that thrives in the Sundarbans may have inspired the area’s name. There are other possibilities, such as the “sea forest” or “chandra-bandhe (dam)” (ancient aboriginal) theories. However, the stunning Sundarbans tree is widely believed to be the inspiration for the park’s name.
Satellite images reveal forest reserves. Cities and rivers are blue, and the countryside is dotted with dark green forests and bright green farmland to the north.
The Sundarbans, one of the world’s three largest mangrove forests, can be found in the Ganga basin and have a particularly complicated ecology. Bangladesh’s southwestern corner is where the vast majority (62%) of the Sundarbans, which span both Bangladesh and India, can be found.
It is bordered to the south by the Bay of Bengal, to the east by the Baleshwar River, and to the north by high arable land. To a large extent, embankments and low-lying lands confine the other streams to the river’s main branches in the upper reaches.
The official estimate for Sundarvan’s landmass was around 16,700 square kilometres. (As it was 200 years ago.) About a third of its original size remains at this time. There are currently 1,874 square kilometres of rivers, creeks, and canals and 4,143 square kilometres of land (including 42 square kilometres of sand).
The Sundarbans’ rivers are the meeting places of saltwater and freshwater. This is where the Ganges River’s fresh water meets the salty water of the Bay of Bengal. It includes the Bangladeshi provinces of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, and Patuakhali.
Sundarban is situated in Bangladesh’s southwestern corner. After thousands of years of inter-stream flow along the Bay of Bengal, a beautiful forest has formed from sediments that have been naturally separated from the upper stream. It has a deltaic topography, with numerous streams running across its surface and mud walls and mud chars dotting the ground above the water. Canals, underwater soil walls, adib-island mud, and accumulated sediments surround the marginal grasslands, sandy beaches, and islands that are higher than the average sea level.
The Sundarbans range in elevation from 0.91 metres to 2.11 metres above sea level. The formation of marine matter and the diversity of marine animals are both influenced by biological factors. Beaches, estuaries, permanent and temporary wetlands, mud chars, creeks, sand dunes, and soil mounds are just some of the varied features.
The world of mangrove plants contributes to the creation of new land. Once again, intracellular plants are crucial to organ development in aquatic environments. Macroeconomic conditions are established in interstitial mud pastures due to the presence of mangrove fauna. The sediment is contained, thereby producing a horizontal sub-rock layer beneath the seed. Numerous trees regulate the structure and development of anthropomorphism.
Vegetation such as vines, grasses, and pigs helps keep loose sediment in place. Sundari, Gewa, Goran, and Keora trees make up a sizable portion of the Sundarbans’ primary forest species, showcasing the region’s rich biodiversity. Prine estimated in 1903 that there were 245 plant classes and 334 plant species. Since Prein’s report, there have been numerous revisions to the taxonomy of mangrove species.
The natural forest has not been altered much at all. Bangladesh’s mangrove forests feature a flora that is vastly distinct from both other non-deltaic coastal mangrove forests and highland forests. The Rhizophoraceae family isn’t nearly as vital. The effects of clean water and low salinity in the Northeast, as well as water drainage and sediment storage, have been credited with explaining variations in the plant life cycle.
The Sundarbans are a beach with keora and other seaside trees, and they are classified as a moist tropical forest. Plants in the Sundarbans have traditionally been divided into three categories based on water salinity, the availability of fresh water, and the strength of the topography’s influence.
Sundari and Gewa are the most common languages in the area, but you can also find a few Dhundal and Keora here and there. In between the grass and the bush is a round, smooth leaf. Keora, short for “new silt,” is vital to the survival of many animal species, including the endangered Chitra deer. Saltwater reservoirs, inter-stream sedimentary, sandy, baliari, open grasslands, and areas of trees and shrubs make up a significant portion of the Sundarbans, in addition to the forest land.
The Sundarbans are home to a wide variety of wildlife. Some parts of the Sundarbans function as a restricted sanctuary, where wild resources cannot be collected unconditionally and the lives of wild animals are little disturbed. This model is used in the management of animal diversity conservation.
The Sundarbans are not immune to the decline in Bangladesh’s livestock resources, though. Despite this, the Sundarbans are still home to a diverse array of animals and plants. The development of biodiversity conservation management and tourism is on the agenda, with tigers and pigs as top targets. Both of these species are highly indicative of the state of animal diversity and conservation efforts because of the extreme conditions in which they exist. 500 Royal Bengal Tigers, the world’s largest concentration of tigers, have made the Sundarbans their home as of 2004. It’s also possible to spot blue-necked fish in the Sundarbans.
The Sundarbans are home to a variety of wild animals thanks to their primitive ecosystem. The number of wild animals and the ability to raise them are profoundly affected by human resource collection and forest management. Some of the Sundarbans’ endemic animals include lizards, pythons, and even royal Bengal tigers.
According to recent studies, there are 120 species of commercially important fish in the Sundarbans, as well as 270 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles, and 8 species of amphibians.
This indicates that the Sundarbans of Bangladesh are home to a diverse array of species, many of which are found nowhere else in Bangladesh (30% reptiles, 37% birds, 37% mammals, etc.).
The government reports that two amphibian species, fourteen reptile species, twenty-five bird species, and five mammal species are in danger right now. When it comes to studying, reading about, and observing birds, the Sundarbans are like a dream come true for ornithologists.
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