- January 25, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Environment
Context : The Indian Sunderbans, which is part of the largest mangrove forest in the world, is home to 428 species of birds, a recent publication of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) states.
- The scientists said of the 428 birds listed, some, like the masked finfoot and the Buffy fish owl, are recorded only from the Sunderbans.
- The area is home to nine out of 12 species of kingfishers found in the country as well rare species such as the Goliath heron and the spoon-billed sandpiper.
- The mudflats exposed in the low tides, rich in microorganism deposited during tidal activity, are ideal feeding for migratory birds. The mudflats and wetlands of the Sunderbans act as a stopover site for migratory flight south [southwards] and back.
- It is a vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal spread over India and Bangladesh on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.
- The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes.
- It constitutes over 60% of the country’s total mangrove forest area.
- Indian Sundarbans was recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under the Ramsar Convention in January 2019 and also a Biosphere Reserve in 1989.
- The area is known for its wide range of fauna, and is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species such as the Estuarine Crocodile, Royal Bengal Tiger, Water Monitor Lizard, Gangetic Dolphin and Olive Ridley Turtles.
- The Sunderbans Delta is the only mangrove forest in the world inhabited by tigers.
- For its preservation, Discovery India and World Wide Fund (WWF) India partnered with the Government of West Bengal and local communities in the Sundarbans in 2019.