The population of Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarbans region of Bangladesh has declined sharply to 106 from 440 in 2004. It was revealed in recently released new Tiger census 2015 of Bangladesh.
The Tiger Census was conducted by Bangladesh-India Joint Tiger Census Project. It was carried under the initiative of Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia Project. Financial support to this initiative was provided by the World Bank.
Methodology: Census 2015 was conducted by using modern technology of hidden cameras to count tigers. Previous methodology was based on count of counting pug marks. The camera tapping method is more accurate than past method.
Reasons for decline in Population: The rapid decline in population was attributed to loss of habitat, lack of proper forest management, unchecked wildlife poaching and animal-human conflict in the world’s largest mangrove forests of Sunderbans.
It should be noted that in Bangladesh, Sunderbans are spread over 6097 sq.km and it is only natural habitat of Royal Bengal tigers. There are around 74 tigers on the Indian side of the Sundarbans which stretches for nearly 4,000 miles across both countries.
Royal Bengal tiger species: It is one the 6 surviving and 3 extinct subspecies of tiger mainly found in India. It is present in smaller populations in Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan Myanmar and China.