Shundorbon - The Largest Mangrove Forest Of The World
The forest is situated in the southern part of Bangladesh. It is considered as the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in this earth. It has been declared as ‘world heritage’ by ‘UNESCO’. It is not only the largest mangrove forest of the world, but the largest reserve for the Royal Bengal Tiger as well.
Freshwater swamp forests:
Here, the freshwater swamp forests is tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of Bangladesh. The brackish swamp forest is just behind the mangrove forest where the salinity is more concentrated. During the rainy season, it becomes quite fresh when the freshwater of different rivers push the salt water out and deposit silt.
The mangrove ecoregion is world’s largest mangrove forest. The dominant mangrove species is locally known as ‘Shundori’. A great variety of other species of plants are absent here. Among fifty mangrove types, twenty six are available here. And most important, the mangrove forest of Shundorbon is different in many ways compared to other non deltaic mangrove forests of this earth.
In this forest, 334 plant species has been recorded so far. The flora is characterized more accurately by shundori, geoa, goran and keora and all of them occur prominently in the whole area.
A unique ecosystem and a rich wildlife habitat is the main attraction of Shundorbon. The most important fact is – mangroves are the transition from freshwater and terrestrial system to marine and provide critical habitat of numerous species of crabs, small fish, shrimps and many more.
The most important habitats of Shundorbon is Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard and several other smaller predators jungle cats and fishing cats. In Shundorbon, the largest mangrove forest, there are some reptile predators as well.
Royal Bengal tiger:
Royal Bengal tiger is the most prominent tiger subspecies among all tiger subspecies. It is the national animal of Bangladesh. The basic social unit of tiger is a mother and her offspring. Tigers like to hunt large prey like chital and sambar. Now a day, since it is difficult for them to have food on a regular basis, they some time prey domestic livestock from nearest village. As the number of tiger is decreasing in alarming rate, government has taken several steps to reverse the rate with the help of some non government organization and the local people.
Climate change impact:
The forest is mainly affected by the devastating attack of cyclones in a very frequent manner. Another challenge that the forest is facing in recent days is the increase of sea water level. But the authority is trying hard and fast to minimize the level of loss.