Tigers are straying due to high salinity in Sunderbans

Official figures shows that in 2009 , 22 incidents of tiger-strayings took place in the Sunderbans in comparision to 9 in 2008, 11 in 2007, 11 in 2006 and 1 in 2005. Experts are of the opinion that rise in salinity level is probably the main cause behind this increase in tiger straying incidents. In the recent study, The Nature Environment and Willife Society (NEWS) has shown that there has been a rise in salinity of about 20% in last three years. As rivers like Saptamukhi, Matla, Gosaba, Tahkuran, Harinbhanga are all tide-fed, the area consists of saline water which are not of natural choice to the tigers. Loss of land part during the post Aila period has resulted in migration of tigers from the southern part to the northern side of the forest. TOI reported that of the 102 islands, 48 are left with forest cover only on their fringes. And a tiger needs to ambush its prey before killing it. Due to less forest cover, tigers are finding it difficult to hunt and may be straying inside villages for easy prey, According to Biswajit Roy Chowdhury of NEWS, neither herbivores nor carnivores can take salinity after a point. “Not only animals, trees which were mainly found in the southern region can be seen in the northern parts of the Sunderbans now. Rise in salinity will further degrade the coastal water quality and reduce the overall system productivity,” says an expert.

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One Response to “Tigers are straying due to high salinity in Sunderbans”

  1. Neil Says:

    Have a great and safe trip, Indrani! I shall look forward to your posts. The east is still a myresty to me, and I wonder when I will be able to go and explore it for myself. till then, I am trying to satisfy myself by reading about it..

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