Monday, 27 July 2015

Only 100 tigers left in Bangladesh's famed Sundarbans forest

The population in the mangrove forest is far less than believed, officials say, after a census uses cameras hidden in trees to record numbers

Agence France-Presse

Monday 27 July 2015 07.30 BSTLast modified on Monday 27 July 201510.59 BST

Only around 100 tigers remain in Bangladesh’s famed Sundarbans forest, far fewer of the endangered animals than previously thought, according to a census.

Some 440 tigers were recorded during the previous census in 2004 in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and one of the last remaining habitats for the big cats.

But experts said better methodology was the reason for the huge drop in the numbers, saying hidden cameras used this time around, rather than pugmarks, gave a much more accurate figure.

Tapan Kumar Dey, the government’s wildlife conservator, said analysis of camera footage from the year-long survey that ended in April found numbers ranged between 83 and 130, giving an average of 106.

“So plus or minus we have around 106 tigers in our parts of the Sundarbans. It’s a more accurate figure,” Dey told Agence France-Presse about the survey, which has not yet been publicly released.

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