Birds chirping and water shimmering in mellow sunlight, the home to green lush nature – the Sundarbans wildlife sanctuary. It is India’s one and only place where one of the most significant environmental and geographical marvels can be witnessed! Let’s take you on a virtual tour to the Sundarbans wildlife sanctuary which has the largest river delta and mangroves forests on earth! Not only nature, but it also has the largest population of Royal Bengal Tigers as well. However, this place is still left unexplored by most of the people from India and also from many other countries around the world.
Some parts of this national forest will blow your mind away with their breath-taking beauty and the variety of wild animals present there. The main rivers flowing in the Bay of Bengal, through the Sundarbans are the Brahmaputra, Ganges, Padma, and Meghna. The river body shimmers ever so slightly in the sunlight, this is one of the most soothing parts of the virtual tour to Sundarbans wildlife sanctuary. It is a cluster of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, spread all over the coast of India and Bangladesh. It has the world’s largest mangrove forest with an area of about 10,000 sq km of which 60% is in Bangladesh and the rest is in India.
This UNESCO heritage site includes three wildlife sanctuaries. As one of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world, the Sundarbans holds an exceptional range of biodiversity.
As we take you on the virtual tour to Sundarbans wildlife sanctuary, you will witness its wide range of fauna, including innumerable species of birds, the Bengal tiger and many other threatened species like saltwater crocodiles and the Indian python. Sundarbans is also home to over five million people in an ecologically fragile and climatically vulnerable region. It provides sustainable livelihood to millions of people and functions as a protective barrier for its inhabitants from storms, cyclones, tidal surges, sea water seepage and intrusion.
This area has been facing a lot of extreme weather events of increasing intensity over the last few years.
In the year 2007, cyclone Sidr hit Sundarbans and caused around 40% damage to the ecologically fragile area. It was struck by cyclone Aila in 2009 resulting in massive casualties. In 2019, cyclone Bulbul hit Sundarbans but did not cause much damage as Sidr and Alia did.
Recently on May 20, super cyclone Amphan took a trail over Sundarbans resulting in a massive destruction. Winds blowing at over 150 kmph hit the Sundarbans by the time the cyclone had made its landfall. Authorities are still trying to assess the extent of damage caused by it. Over 4 million people staying in the North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas were badly affected by cyclone Amphan.
Experts say that the delta’s mangroves have helped in reduction of the intensity of the cyclone hitting the coastal communities in the area like always. However, the damage caused by cyclone Amphan on the wildlife is clearly high.
The flooding due to cyclones or storms and the rise of sea level has resulted in high levels of salination in the delta making it completely unusable for farming.
The degrading health of mangroves has been affecting their resilience as well as recovery potential against climate change consequences.
As the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are expected to increase in the future, it becomes important to conserve the mangroves of the Sundarbans! We hope you enjoyed this virtual tour to Sundarbans wildlife sanctuary!
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