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Cyclone also delivers a blow to the Bengal tiger reserve

2008.01.21 Think the Earth Staff

A highly destructive cyclone, "Sidr " hit southwestern Bangladesh on 15th of November last year. According to the NGO, Shapla Neer, it is said that so far more than 4,000 people have been confirmed dead and over 6 million are said to have been affected. On site, people are still making efforts for restoration; not only people but plants and animals have also suffered from the devastating cyclone.

For example, let's take a look at the world's largest mangrove forests in the Sundarbans National Park, which stretches from Bangladesh into India. On 18th of this month, Reuters said that at least 60% of approximately 6,000 square kilometers of mangrove forests were afflicted and an epiphytotic referred to as 'top-dying', which deadens the treetops from about 20 meters high, has been spreading.

There is a reserve in Sundarbans for endangered Bengal tigers, so there is also concern for their wellbeing. It is said that in the past 100 years, the wild tiger population has decreased by 95%, and now there are only about 5,000 in the whole world. Half of this population is comprised of Bengal tigers that live in India and Bangladesh. Notably, Sundarbans is the largest Bengal tiger habitat in the Indian subcontinent protecting over 400 tigers.

Some experts point out that 'top-dying' that is affecting mangroves may be the result of increase in soil salinity, but nothing specific is known yet.

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Bangladesh (Asia/Oceania

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