According to the State Forest Department estimates, around 40 per cent of the mangroves were ravaged.
The storm affected nearly 70% of the people in West Bengal, but the Sundarbans faced the most catastrophic destruction.
The story of the Sundari is as fascinating as its namesake—the Sundarbans, the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest, situated across coastal Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal in India where it is also a UNESCO world heritage site, a designated national park, a tiger reserve, and a biosphere reserve. Sundari is as elusive as the most celebrated resident of the Sundarbans—the Bengal tiger.
One of India’s greatest natural treasures.
Environmental science and conservation news…
Find the best places to visit and things to do in and around Sunderban National Park, where you get an opportunity to see rare and endangered species.
Ramen Mistry (55) climbed a tree to pluck some fruits during one of the fishing expeditions he undertakes for livelihood in the perilous Sundarban forests in the Gangetic delta. A Royal Bengal tiger followed him, climbed up the tree and began pawing at him. It dug its claws on his hip as he bled profusely. As Mistry screamed in pain, his companions rushed to his rescue and shooed away the tiger. He was rushed to a hospital in the South 24 Parganas district, where he remained for three months.
The incident occured nearly 20 years ago. But Mistry still ekes out a living from crab fishing and honey collection in the same tiger-infested mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.
Three months ago, when Mistry was in one such crab fishing expedition, a tiger attacked a young village boy accompanying him.
HYDERABAD: The Sundarbans National Park is not the nearest biosphere for enthusiasts to access from South India. As annual wildlife census operations are underway closer home, at the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu, for instance, droves of campers are setting out to scour the forests of Thalamalai, Asanur, Bhavanisagar, Thalawadi, TN Palayam and Germalam, in the hope of tracking the big cats, while doing their bit for conservation.
Similar activities are being conducted at the Anamalai Reserve in the Western Ghats, in the hills of Pollachi, Valparai and Udumalpet taluks of Coimbatore and the Tiruppur District of Tamil Nadu. While Periyar in Kerala, Nagarhole in the Kodagu and Mysore districts of Karnataka, and the former royal hunting grounds of the Mysore Maharajas, Bandipur, are favoured destinations.
Each year, approximately 30 people are killed by tigers in the Sundarbans – so why do locals revere rather than fear these killer cats?
Source: An archipelago of killer cats
Mangroves anchor the edges of the world, but they are slipping away, thanks to coastal development, pollution, over-harvesting, nutrient loading, overuse of freshwater, and climate change. The world’s largest intact halophytic (salt-tolerating) mangrove forest is the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles India and Bangladesh.