Sundarbans Tiger Reserve (STR)

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Sundarbans Tiger Reserve (STR) Blog Image

Overview:

The annual tiger census in West Bengal’s Sunderbans is scheduled to commence soon.

About Sundarbans Tiger Reserve (STR)

  • Location:
    • STR is situated in the coastal districts of West Bengal, i.e., South 24-Parganas and part of North 24-Parganas.
    • It lies at the southernmost extremity of the lower Gangetic delta, bordering the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is a part of the famous "Sunderbans", the largest delta in the world, formed by the convergence of two Himalayan rivers, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, both of which flow into the Bay of Bengal. 
  • It is not only a Tiger Reserve but also a National Park and a Biosphere Reserve.
  • Borders:
    • It is bound to the east by the international boundary with Bangladesh, formed by the rivers Harinbhanga, Raimangal, and Kalindi.
    • On the south lies the Bay of Bengal.
    • The western border is formed by the river Matla, which acts as a common boundary with the territorial Forest Division of South 24- Parganas.
    • Towards the north-west, the area is bound by the rivers Bidya and Gomdi.
  • It can be described as a maze of estuaries, river channels, and creeks encompassing a number (105) of islands of various shapes and sizes.
  • It is the only mangrove forest throughout the world (besides Bangladesh) to harbour a significant tiger population.
  • Flora: These comprise of true mangroves or major elements, minor elements of mangroves or/and mangrove associates, shrubs, non-halophytic non-mangrove associates, halophytic herbs, shrubs, weeds, epiphytes, and parasitic plants.
  • Fauna: It is home to a large number of endangered and globally threatened species like the tiger, fishing cat, estuarine crocodile, Gangetic dolphin, Irrawaddy Dolphin, king cobra, water monitor lizard, and other species.

Q1) What is an Estuary?

An estuary is a partially enclosed, coastal water body where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean. Estuaries, and their surrounding lands, are places of transition from land to sea. Estuarine environments are among the most productive on earth, creating more organic matter each year than comparably-sized areas of forest, grassland or agricultural land.

Source: Annual tiger census in Sunderbans from Nov 27