Country observes Int’l Tiger Day
The tiger, what's believed to be a majestic and a potent animal to the rest of the world, means more for a nation of 16 crore. The Royal Bengal Tiger is our national animal. However, in the last few decades the tiger population in the country has shrunk beyond imagination. In the last 100 years, the number of big cats fell from one hundred thousand to a paltry four thousand due to indiscriminate killing, reckless poaching, plus colonial official's pursuit of hunting project to prove imperial superiority.
Bangladesh and the rest of the world observed the International Tiger Day on July 29. Thankfully the news for the big cats of the Sundarbans is that of hope, because with strict and smart policing, poaching, illegal encroachment and other harassment of wild life have fallen - making the forest an ideal place for all species.
Forest officials have shown promise this year since large swathes of the Sundarbans is now protected with people from nearby villages, who rely on the forest for livelihood, understanding the need to safeguard their national heritage - the Royal Bengal Tiger. The global situation for tigers is still precarious with the animal deemed critically endangered. Though the number is slowly increasing, there needs to be an ever watchful eye supported by tech-based vigilance. In the Bangladesh part, a 'camera-trapping' technique used three years ago counted 106, which is a reason for celebration, as only a decade ago, this number was dangerously low to a mere 60.
But we cannot be complacent because the demand for tiger body parts in several Asian countries is on the rise. As long as there is demand, efforts will be diversified to spot and kill the animals. Good that the government is considering to chalk up plans to begin the usage of drones and other high tech equipment to track and follow tigers living in the Sunderbans and pick up trails of potential poachers. Also, the forest preservation force needs to be supplied with the state of the art machines, vehicles and even helicopters to prevent poaching.
The villages around the forest area can also have watch towers in case a cat enters human territory by mistake or, driven by hunger. Reportedly, faced with natural disasters or food shortage, tigers are compelled to invade human settlements which results in unsavoury confrontations.
To prevent this, the first priority is to limit human entry into forest areas and minimize deforestation. The government, with support from the large conglomerates of the country, can also think of building a safari park, where endangered species can breed and be a money making tourist spot.