Dhaka, Delhi join global move to save tigers

Friday, July 30, 2010

DHAKA - Bangladesh and India, home to the famous Royal Bengal tiger, will attend the 13-nation Tiger Conservation Summit in St. Petersburg in September to plan out urgent measures to save the species.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may attend the meeting of the Tiger Range Countries (TRC) - Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, The Daily Star reported Friday.

Currently, half of the entire Royal Bengal tiger population of over 2,000 is in 56 forest areas in India.

The tiger is treated as one of the most critically endangered animals fast disappearing from the world. If all the six sub-species are taken togther, there are estimated to be just about 3,200 tigers left, down from around 100,000 in 1900. Experts, however, predict tigers will be extinct in the next century if strong measures are not taken to save them.

The Balinese tiger, Javanese tiger and Caspian tiger have already become extinct. Now there are six sub-species: Amur, Indochinese, Malayan, Royal Bengal, South China and Sumatran.

Despite frequent natural calamities, worsening environment and growing salinity in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh is the only country now that claims the number of tigers has recently risen in the forests.

The Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans, a stretch of 6,017 sq km of forest, is officially home to 450 tigers.

The last pugmark survey by the forest department and UN Development Programme (UNDP) in 2004 estimated the number to be around 440, including 21 cubs.

Since 2000, tigers have killed 193 people, while 29 tigers were lynched and some others were found dead in Bangladesh’s forests, according to official records of the forest department.

Filed under: Environment

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