Save our Tigers
While the Royal Bengal Tiger is the symbol of Bangladesh pacing fast towards progress, the real animal in the Sunderbans is facing a precarious future as their number has dwindled in the past decades. Reportedly, the number of tigers fell from 440 in 2004 to 110 in 2015.
As of late, we have 114 tigers in the Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans, which is an increase of 8%, but then again significantly lesser than the previous 400 hundred plus. Such alarming fall following limited success raises questions about the tiger population habitat and the treat from poaching plus other ecological disasters. While poaching has fallen in recent times, the illegal killing of deer has had an adverse impact on tiger safety because food shortage often forces many large cats to stray into human communities.
The tiger-human confrontation usually results in death with three tigers killed on average when they enter human settlements. This can only be prevented when large forest areas are kept free of any encroachment. Many communities living near the Sunderbans rely on the forest but to save tiger population and habitat, certain areas need to be declared off limits.
The rising salinity is another reason for the decline of the tiger population which needs fresh water to survive. As many communities are aware of the need to preserve tiger and its habitat, a concerted drive aimed at providing total safety is still absent. The alarming prognosis is that unless long term measures are taken, tigers may vanish in fifty years. This may seem like a long time though without immediate attempts, tigers may disappear far before the stipulated time.
Apart from ecological degradation, a pervasive threat emanates from a steady rise of demand of tiger body parts which are used in making medicines in several south-east Asian countries. As long as the demand remains, tigers will never be out of danger and poachers will always be tempted to take one last chance to get a cat for a big profit.
A special tiger protection unit can be a judicious move which will work in alliance with police forces of south-east Asian countries. A natural habitat is of primary importance though creating sanctuaries to breed and sustain tigers plus other species of the cat family may be an intelligent move. Along with tigers, the fish tiger and other smaller cats of the wild are facing extinction simply because the common reaction of rural people is to kill them instead of handing them over to the forest department officials.