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Tiger census begins in the Sundarbans

Published : 01 Jan 2023 10:14 PM

Tiger census by using camera trapping method inthe Sundarbans began Sunday, five years after last tiger census, under the'Sundarban Tiger Conservation Project'.

The forest department is expected to publish the census result in June 2024.

The census kicked off under the Kalabagi Forest Station of Khulna Range of the Sundarbans.

According to the forest department, the census is being carried out by surveying the rivers and creeks and by looking for footprints of tigers.

In this regard, the forest department has begun creeks and rivers surveying in the Sundarbans on December 15, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Sundarbans West Division and Project Director (PD) of Tiger Conservation Project Dr Abu NaserMohsin Hossain told BSS Sunday.

"A total of 665 cameras will be installed in the both East and West Sundarbans and each point will also be installed two cameras for the census to capture pictures of tigers and other animals," he said, adding that they will be later analysed using advanced technology.

According to the latest survey (2018), there are 114 tigers in the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, which was 106 in 2015 and 404 in 2004 survey, the PD added.

Currently, the numbers of tigers may have increased, he said, quoting tourists observations who returned from the Sundarbans recently.

MdBelayet Hossain, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Sundarbans East division, told BSS that survey and camera trappings will continue for the next three months. Later in November 2023, a similar survey will be conducted alongside capturing photographs.

"We will be able to announce the results by June 2024," he said.

According to Forest Department, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change approved a project titled 'Sundarban Tiger Conservation Project' on March 23 this year. The cost of the project was estimated at Taka 35 crore 93 lakh 80 thousand. The project period was set from April this year to March 2025. The project has two parts -- tiger census and tiger conservation. 

The work was supposed to start from October this year. However, due to global economic recession, the project was late in securing funds. Later, in mid-October, the Planning Commission released Taka three crore 24 lakh 36 thousand for the tiger census as part of the project.

According to forest department, currently 3,840 tigers survive in nature in 13 countries of the world.

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