Home Census The Sundarbans tiger census is expected to start the last week of November

The Sundarbans tiger census is expected to start the last week of November

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A tiger census using the camera trapping method is set to begin in the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, in the last week of November this year.

All preparations are underway to carry out the census, said Dr. Abu Nas Mohosin, Divisional Forestry Officer (DFO) of West Sundarban Zone and also Project Manager.

He said the Planning Commission approved funding for the Tk3crore project last week for the census.

Now, it will take a month to take the necessary measures after receiving approval from the Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change.

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

“We are taking the preparation with the aim of starting the census work from the last week of November,” the official said, adding, “The condition of the existing cameras is being observed. We are looking for a suitable camera for this census work. Investigation and discussions with experts are also ongoing.

This time, preparations are underway to install cameras at 300 locations with 200 new cameras, he said.

According to the Forest Department, the Sundarbans Tiger Conservation Project involving Tk 35.93 crore was approved in March this year.

On March 23, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change gave its approval to the project.

The three-year adventure will end in March 2025.

Out of the project, Tk 3.26 crore will be spent on tiger census activities while the remaining money will be spent on establishing 12 shelters (Matir Killa) for the protection of tigers during natural disasters, setting up nylon fences over 60 kilometers, fire distinguishing machines, purchase of hoses and drones, training activities for 340 members of 49 village tiger response teams and 185 members of the patrol group community of four ranges, study trips, clothing supply, monthly meeting and other activities.

According to the 2015 and 2018 tiger censuses, the tiger population fell to only 106 and 114 tigers respectively in the Bangladeshi part.

After 2017-2018, no tiger census was conducted in the forest which is the only habitat of Royal Bengal Tigers in Bangladesh.

Data from the Forest Department shows that at least 50 tigers have been killed in the past 15 years due to illegal poaching of wildlife in the forest spanning 6,017 square kilometers.

In light of the Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan (2009-2017), the commitments of the 2010 World Tiger Conference, the Second Tiger Action Plan (2016-2027) and decisions of the Forum Tiger World, the Ministry has approved the Tiger Conservation Project to collect updated information on tigers in the country and to preserve and increase the number of tigers in the Sundarbans.