Bangladesh oil spill disaster threatens wildlife in Sundarbans forest

Bangladesh’s oil spill disaster is considered as ecological catastrophe which may threaten rare dolphins, other wildlife species and world’s largest mangrove forests in the Sundrban’s.

Oil spill disaster: The tanker carrying an estimated 350,000 litres of furnace oil partly sank in the Sundarban’s Shela River after it collided with another vessel.

These oil slicks have spread over a 60 kilometre-long area and have entered into another river as well as a network of canals in the vast Sundarbans delta which comprises a network of rivers and canals straddling Bangladesh and India.

Environmental Impact

This disaster may be considered as an ecological catastrophe and can destroy the delicate ecology of the Sundarbans – a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.

Sundrban has world’s largest mangrove forest which is home to wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python. It is also home to the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.

The oil spills has already blackened the shoreline and started degrading the water quality, threatening trees, plankton, vast populations of small fishes.

Rare Irrawaddy dolphin may be the first victim of this oil spill as the thick layer of oil on the surface of the river may cut down the dissolved oxygen, leading to suffocation of these dolphins  due to lack of oxygen.

It may even threaten Sunderban tigers as there feed on herbivores animals like deer and other are going to suffer from oil spill as their vegetation may be covered by a thick layer of oil and rinse into the soil once the water recedes during the tides.

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Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2017International Current Affairs 2017

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