sundarban national park

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SUNDARBAN NATIONAL PARKS

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Sundarbans National Park is situated in the Parganas district of West Bengal in India. The park is named after the Sundari trees present in the area. Sundarban is made up of 54 small islands crisscrossed by several distributaries of the Ganges. Spread over a vast area of 6526 sq miles (including water) the history of the area can be dated back to 200-300 AD. Sundarbans was declared a reserve forest in the year 1875-76 . The Sundarbans National Park was declared as a core area of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in 1973, and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977 . In 1984 it was declared as a National Park . It was inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in the year 1987 . The biotic factors here play a significant role in physical coastal evolution and for wildlife. There are about 64 species of flora in the sundarbans. Majority comprises of Sundari (Heritiera fomes), Goran (Ceriops decandra) Garjan (Rhizophora spp.) etc. The fauna of Sundarbans is dominated by the royal bengal tiger followed by fishing cats, jungle cats, wild boar, pangolin, and chital.

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The Chaand Sandagar merchant community were the first reported community who built a city in the now existing baghmara forest block of sundarbans. The ruins of the city are evidence to this fact. Emperor Akbar built many buildings around sundarban, which were later occupied by Portuguese pirates, salt smugglers and dacoits in the 17th century. Evidence can be seen at the ruins left at Netidhopani. Much later the sundarbans was declared a reserved forest in 1875-76. It was in 1875 that a majority of the mangrove forests were declared as reserve forests. The present Sundarbans National Park was declared as core area of the sundarbans tiger reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. Sundarbans became a national park in 1984.

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The other important dates in the history of Sundarbans was recorded in the year 1987 when UNESCO took note of sundarbans as a World Heritage Site. Another major date was in the year 1989 when the title of a Biosphere Reserve was conferred upon sundarban national park.

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variety of bird species is also found in the sundarbans. These include open billed storks, white ibis, spotted doves, pelicans etc. Quite a few varieties of aqua fauna which include sawfish, electric rays, king crabs, dolphins, frogs and toads thrive in the area. This World Heritage Site is under threat of physical disaster due to unscientific and excessive human interferences. Conservation and environmental management plan for safeguarding this unique coastal ecology is urgently required! The only means of travel in the park is by boat. Boats are available according to the choice of the visitors. Hotels, rest houses and lodges are aplenty in the vicinity of the national park. Ideal time to visit the park is from November to February. Sundarbans is well connected by road, rail and airways.

Sundarban national park due to its special topographical features provides shelter to various species of mammals, reptiles and birds. The aquatic fauna found in the sundarbans is one of the rarest and most sort after. The following is a list on important places that have to be visited to make the visit to sundarban a complete wildlife experience: :

Sundarban national park due to its special topographical features provides shelter to various species of mammals, reptiles and birds. The aquatic fauna found in the sundarbans is one of the rarest and most sort after. The following is a list on important places that have to be visited to make the visit to sundarban a complete wildlife experience: Ganga Sagar: Apart from being a cultural and religious destination, this place has some of the best beaches. Lothian Island Bird Sanctuary: This place is a favorite amongst bird enthusiasts who are on the look out for birds like the white bellied sea eagle, whimbrell, terns etc. Bhagatpur Crocodile Project: This is a crocodile hatchery as well as a crocodile sanctuary. Home to the biggest estuarine crocodiles. Sajankhali Bird Sanctuary: A home ground for egrets and herons. Mayadweep: One of the very few places which can actually be called the nesting places of the endangered olive ridley turtles. Piyali: The gateway to the sundarbans, it is situated on the banks of the river piyali. A beautiful resting place. Netidhopani: A vast area covered with mangrove forests and teeming with wildlife. One can also find a 300 year old temple.

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Sundarban being the only mangrove reserve in India and one of the very few remaining in the world, is characterized by the most unusual species of flora and fauna. The flora of the region is dominated by Baen ( Avicennia marina ) flanked by foreshore grassland of Dhani Grass ( Oryza coarctata ). Baen is gradually replaced by Genwa ( Excoecaria agallocha ) and Goran ( Ceriops spp ). The other species of flora include Garjan ( Rhizophora spp .), Kankra ( Bruguiera spp .), and few patches of Sundari ( Heritiera fomes ). Hental ( Phoenix spp .) forest exists in relatively high land and compact soil. Dhundul ( Xylocarpus granatum ), Passur ( Xylocarpus mekongensis ) and Golpatta ( Nipa fruticans ). One can also find some of the palm swamps, but these are extremely limited.

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The sundarbans is the single largest home of the royal bengal tiger. Sundarbans also harbors a good number of rare and globally threatened animals including estuarine crocodile, common otter, water monitor lizard, gangetic dolphin, snub fin dolphin, marine turtles like olive ridley, green sea turtle, hawksbill turtle. The other mammals are wild boars, spotted deer, porcupines etc. Sundarban is also know for its avifauna population (248 species recorded). These include a large number of migratory birds. The birds normally found in the sundarbans are the herons, seagulls, wild geese, ducks, green pigeons etc. One of the species of crustaceans found in the mangrove forests are the one armed fiddler crab and the horse shoe crab.

Climate change could drown out Sundarbans tigers - study :

Climate change could drown out Sundarbans tigers - study “The projected sea level rise in the Sundarbans will likely outpace the tiger’s ability to adapt.” An expected sea level rise of 28 cm above 2000 levels may cause the remaining tiger habitat in the Sundarbans to decline by 96 percent, pushing the total population to fewer than 20 breeding tigers, according to the study. Unless immediate action is taken, the Sundarbans, its wildlife and the natural resources that sustain millions of people may disappear within 50 to 90 years, the study states.

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