Effectual with good prey and proper breeding

Effectual
Strategies for the Preservation of Royal Bengal Tiger’s Territory in Sundarbans

Tanbir Hossain

Lecturer, Department of Economics

North Western University,
Khulna-9100

 

Abstract:

The Sundarbans is the only
mangrove forest in the planet where the tiger is at the summit of the food
chain. The Sundarbans ecosystem is very well consisted to variable salinity,
periodic high tides and tidal inundations, occasional tidal surges and frequent
flooding. The terrestrial fauna bearing this ecosystem is drastically
dissimilar to their corresponding items chasing other ecosystems. Royal Bengal
Tiger is our national animal but this fame is going to extinct with the
extinction of this precious animal. In 2004, Forest Department and UNDP jointly
launched a research to estimate the tiger population with Pug-mark method. The
tiger-census found that there were 440 (Approximate) tigers in whole forest but
these number drastically falls to 106 (Approximate) in year 2015. Conservation
is highly connected with good prey and proper breeding area and no intervention
of human disturbance. Tiger density is negatively correlated with human
disturbance which is very high in Sundarbans.

Key Words:  Royal Bengal Tigers, UNDP, Sundarbans, Tiger-trade

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

A. Preface:

Tigers were once widespread
across the Bengal region, including much of what is now Bangladesh (Khan, 2011).
However, tiger habitat has been greatly depleted as the human population has
increased and forests have been converted to farms and human settlements
(Karanth, 1995). Hunting and general forest degradation of the remaining
habitat patches has led to further tiger losses (Hussain 1994; Khan, 2011). As
a result of these processes, tigers in Bangladesh are now relegated to the
forests of the Sundarbans and the Chittagong hill tracts (Khan, 2011). The
Chittagong forest is contiguous with tiger habitat in India and Myanmar, but
the tiger population is of unknown status (Perry, 1964). The Sundarbans gives
direct economic benefit to the region, and the tiger is deeply embedded in the
Bangladesh culture (Seidensticker et al. 1987). Most importantly, the Sundarbans
provides essential ecological services such as (1) land maturation, (2)
protection of human habitation from cyclones, (3) oxygen production, (4) waste
recycling, (5) food supply, and (6) carbon cycling (Ghosh and Chowdhury, 1985).

B. Scenario of Tigers Extinction
in World

From 2008, the 60% of tiger
population has been demolished within 10 years due to the carless attitude of
ours. Tiger-man Confliction, Inefficiency of food, Proper breeding place,
Climate change are the main causes for the destruction of big cats (Royal
Bengal Tigers). In 1990 there were
thought to be 100,000. According
to new data released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger
Forum, The number of tigers roaming in the wild has risen to 3,890. In 2004,
there were 440 Tigers in Sundarbans but in these number had been reduced to 200
(about 50%) in 2006. Al last the number has been dropped very alarmingly and
there is only 106 tigers found in Sundarbans (According to Global Tiger Forum,
2016). If these trends are continued, tigers will be found only in our text
book.  

Source: According to
the Report of 2016, World Wildlife
Fund (WWF)

C. Factors Running
behind this Extinction

C.1)
Illegal Tiger trade:
Every part of the tiger from whisker to tails traded in illegal wildlife
markets.

C.2)
Habitat Loss:
Tigers have lost 93% of their historical range. Their habitat has been
destroyed, degraded and fragmented by human activities. The clearing of forests
for agriculture and timber, as well as the building of road networks and other
development activities, pose serious threats to tiger habitats.

C.3)
Human-Wildlife Conflict

People and tigers
increasingly compete for space. As forests shrink and prey gets scarce, tigers
are forced to disperse beyond protected areas in search of their own
territories. This takes them into human-dominated areas that lie between
habitat fragments, where they hunt domestic livestock that many local
communities depend on for their livelihood.

 

Image: Illegal Tiger
trade is happened in China (Skins, Skulls, Teeth can be found easily in China)

D. Strategic
Guidelines for the preservation of Tigers

D.1: Strategies
to Augment Royal Bengal Tiger Population

a)
Zero Poaching

WWF works to enforce zero tolerance for tiger poaching
across Asia. We help build the capacity of enforcement units in each landscape
and install the best new technologies to assist local agencies in achieving
maximum results

b) Protecting and Connecting Tiger Habitat

Tigers need landscapes to thrive, and our work to protect
and connect their fragile habitat is based on rigorous scientific analysis. WWF
has chosen places to focus its resources based on the best available science.

 

 

c) Building Political
Will

WWF
works with governments across the 13 tiger range countries to maintain momentum
around the conservation of tigers, which is a valuable asset that can enhance
their development agendas.

d) Eliminating Tiger
Trade

Trade
in tiger parts and products are a major threat to wild tiger survival. Together
with traffic, the global wildlife trade monitoring network, we implement
strategies to stop wildlife criminal networks, help governments shut down black
markets, and change consumer behavior.

 

D.2: Strategies
to Preserve the Royal Bengal Tiger

a)
Aware that ecosystems are routinely undervalued and therefore sacrificed for
short-term gains

b)
Aware that national budgets for the protection of Sundarbans

c)
Aware that communities living around India’s Protected Area Network of
Sanctuaries and National Parks are the legitimate first beneficiaries of and
the filter through which all benefits should flow outward

d)
Aware that monoculture plantations have severely degraded natural forests and
ecosystems in the past several decades

e)
Aware that the resources, salaries and budgets available to State and Central
Forest Department Staff and Officers is significantly below that of comparable
enforcement agencies including the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast
Guard

Image:
An Effective preservation Systems is a Vital Key to grow up the Cubs of a Tiger

E.
Tiger Actions Plan of Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan
(BTAP) marks the beginning of a structured approach to achieving long-term
conservation of tigers in Bangladesh. The BTAP is a policy-level document that
provides a vision, goals, and objectives to guide an integrated and focused
tiger conservation programme. The vision is to ensure protected tiger
landscapes in Bangladesh, where wild tigers thrive at optimum carrying
capacities and which continue to provide essential ecological services to
mankind. The main goal for the next eight years is to stabilize or increase the
Sundarbans tiger population.

 

 

Strategic Goals

Strategic Actions

 
 
 
 
 
Goal 1: Increase 
the Sundarbans tiger population
 

SA
1.1:  Raise awareness in target groups
about legal protection and importance of tigers and their prey

SA
1.2:  Understand and reduce domestic
socio-economic dependencies on tiger poaching

SA
1.3: Monitor levels of tiger poaching, consumption, and trade in Bangladesh

SA
1.4: Minimize tiger-human conflict

 
 
Goal 2: Maintain sufficient prey base to support
the Sundarbans tiger population

SA
2.1: Monitor changes in occupancy, connectivity, and size of prey population

SA
2.2: Raise awareness in target groups about legal protection and importance
of tigers and their prey

SA
2.3: Understand and reduce socio-economic dependencies on prey poaching

 
 
GOAL 3: Improve
law enforcement to ensure protection of tiger, prey, and habitat
 

SA
3.1: Develop and implement a forest protection strategy to improve FD
patrolling, monitoring, staffing, work incentives, and staff living
conditions

SA
3.2: Assess current tiger conservation related legislation, penalties,
prosecution rate, and perceived risk of being punished

 
 
 
GOAL 4:
Increase capacity to conduct tiger conservation research and monitoring
 

SA
4.1: Develop a prioritized tiger conservation research and monitoring agenda
to guide government agencies, academic institutions, NGOs, and individual
researchers

SA
4.2: Develop a platform to facilitate sharing of information between national
and international tiger conservation researchers

 
 
Goal 5:
Encourage collaboration to support the FD in the implementation of the BTAP
 

SA 5.1: Develop a platform to build collaboration
between the FD and other parties for technical and funding support for BTAP
activities

SA
5.2: Facilitate training and skills sharing between collaborators to increase
national capacity for tiger conservation

Source: Tiger Action Plan of Bangladesh, 2017

F.
References

1. Khan, M. (2011). Tigers In The Mangroves: Research
and Conservation of the Tiger in The Sundarbans of Bangladesh. Aranyak
Foundation

 

2. Hussain, Z. and Acharya, G. (1994).
(eds.) Mangroves of the Sundarbans. Volume two : Bangladesh. IUCN,
Bangkok, Thailand.

3.
Perry, R. (1964). The world of the tiger.
Cassell & Company Ltd., London.

4. Karanth,
K. U. (1995). Estimating tiger (Panthera tigris) populations from
camera-trap data using capture-recapture models. Biological Conservation,
71, 333–338.

 

5. Seidensticker, J. (1987). The Bangladesh Sundarbans as
wildlife habitat: looking ahead. In: J. Seidensticker, R. Kurin, and A. Townsend,
eds. The Commons of South Asia: Societal Pressure and Environmental
Integrity in the Sundarbans. The International Center, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D. C.

 

6. Chowdhury, M.
and Sanyal, P. (1985). Use of electroconvulsive shocks to control tiger
predation on human beings in Sundarbans

Tiger
Reserve. Tigerpaper, 12 (2):1-5.

7. Ghosh, A.,
Sanchez-Triana, E. and Joshi, A. eds. (in press). State of Art Report on
Biodiversity in Indian Sundarbans. World Wide Fund for Nature-India, New
Delhi.

 

8. World Wildlife Fund

9.
Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan of Bangladesh, 2017

10.
Department of Forestry, Bangladesh

11.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

12.
Global Tiger Forum