Monday, November 26, 2018

The Sundarbans

The Sundarbans (Bengali: সুন্দরবন Shundorbôn [ˈʃundorbɔn] lit. "The beautiful forest") is a vast forest in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans contain the world’s largest coastal mangrove forest, with an area of about 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi), of which about 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi) are
located in Bangladesh and about 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi) in India.

The history of the area can be traced back to 200–300 AD. A ruin of a city built by Chand Sadagar has been found in the Baghmara Forest Block. During the Mughal period, the Mughal Kings leased the forests of the Sundarbans to nearby residents. Many criminals took refuge in the Sundarbans from the advancing armies of Emperor Akbar. Many have been known to be attacked by tigers.
Several predators dwell in the labyrinth of channels, branches and roots that poke up into the air. This is the only mangrove ecoregion that harbours the Indo-Pacific region’s largest terrestrial predator, the Bengal tiger. Unlike in other habitats, tigers live here and swim among the mangrove islands, where they hunt scarce prey such as the chital deer (Axis axis), Indian muntjacs (Muntiacus muntjak), wild boar (Sus scrofa), and rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). It is estimated that there are now 180 Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. The tigers irregularly attack and kill humans who venture into the forest, human deaths ranging from 1-50 or 30–100 per year depending on the source.

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