Press Esc to close

28cm sea-level rise will drown 96 pc of Bangladesh Sunderbans

Last updated: 24 January, 2010
New Delhi, Jan 24, (PTI): 10:35 IST

The increasing global temperature may spell doom for the Sunderban tigers as a WWF study has cautioned that rise of 28 centimetre in sea levels will engulf 96 per cent of their habitat.


The findings, though specific for Bangladesh, may be a cause of concern for India as well because the Sunderbans are spread across India and Bangladesh having same ecosystem and tiger population.

The increase of 28 cms from the sea levels of the year 2000 will cause 96 per cent decline in tiger habitat of Sunderbans in Bangladesh while the number of breeding tigers would be reduced to less than 20, Colby Loucks of WWF-United States said in a paper. "We find that the Sunderbans, and its biodiversity, may be vulnerable to much lower increases in sea level than previously thought," he said.

The researcher say the situation may come in about next 50-90 years if Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimation of sea level rise is taken into consideration.

"The Sunderbans are spread across India and Bangladesh with about 5,000 sq kms in Bangladesh and 4,000 sq kms in India. Although the political boundaries define the region, the entire area has similar ecosystem. Any environmental change taking place will have effect on both sides," Joint Director Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve Raju Das told reporters.

However, some leading tiger experts are not convinced by the study as tides in the area drown considerable part of the reserve in both sides on regular basis. There are estimated 350 Royal Bengal Tigers in the Bangladesh Sunderbans, according to UNESCO. As per estimates of Project Tiger in India, there were 245 striped cats in 2001 census on its Indian side.

On the Indian side, the situation may not be as bad as in Bangladesh as mangrove covers are still safe on Indian coastline in comparison to the other side, experts say. "They (Bangladesh) have larger coastline besides they have lost a major chunk of mangrove cover which acts as wall against inundation of salty sea water," Former Director of Project Tiger and leading tiger expert P K Sen said.

He agreed that because of common eco-system, the impact may cascade on Indian side as well but added that islands in the reserve keep changing as new ones come and older get drowned in the delta but it does not have much impact on the tiger population.

When asked about the findings of the WWF study group, he refused to comment on the authenticity of its findings. "While tigers are a highly adaptable species... the Sunderbans ecosystem has become an isolated refuge, boxed in by humans and the sea. Although there is considerable uncertainty regarding the degree of future habitat loss due to sea level rise, it is still imperative to act now to mitigate the potential habitat loss," the researchers say.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Girls taking selfie in front of Gateway of India replica, it is made by Institute of Baking...

Girls taking selfie in front of Gateway of India replica, it is made by Institute of Baking...

Commissioning of Scorpene Class Submarine INS Kalvari at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai...

Commissioning of Scorpene Class Submarine INS Kalvari at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows his finger marked with indelible ink, as he leaves...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows his finger marked with indelible ink, as he leaves...

Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi meets with the families of fishermen affected by Cyclone...

Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi meets with the families of fishermen affected by Cyclone...

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on their way...

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on their way...

An Indian army paratrooper jumps from a plane carrying an Indian national flag...

An Indian army paratrooper jumps from a plane carrying an Indian national flag...

Women waiting in a queue to cast their votes during the second phase of Assembly elections...

Women waiting in a queue to cast their votes during the second phase of Assembly elections...

Indian Youth Congress workers shout slogans while being detained by the police during a protest...

Indian Youth Congress workers shout slogans while being detained by the police during a protest...

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Derek O'Brien, Anand Sharma, Mallikarjun Kharge, Farooq Abdullah and others...

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Derek O'Brien, Anand Sharma, Mallikarjun Kharge, Farooq Abdullah and others...

Pope Francis receives a credential letter from Sibi George, new Ambassador of India to Holy See...

Pope Francis receives a credential letter from Sibi George, new Ambassador of India to Holy See...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.