Forest Dept. declares Sundarbans closed to visitors for 3 months

Damaged mangrove forest Sundarbans in Bangladesh due to the cyloneFile photo

With a view to protecting the wildlife and biodiversity of the Sundarbans, the Forest Department Friday announced a ban on entry of visitors to the forest, which took a big hit from severe Cyclone Remal last week, for three months.

The restriction will apply to visitors, mainly tourists, as well as people who come to work in the forest for their livelihoods.

“No one will be allowed to enter the forest from 1 June to 31 August. No outsiders can enter the forest during this time,” said Mihir Kumar Doe, forest conservator of Khulna region.

He further said that the Forest Department will remain alert so that no crime is organised in the forest during the ban.

According to the Forest Department, the Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans has 344 species of plants of different names and sizes.

Besides, it is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, Rhesus monkeys, 42 species of mammals, 290 species of birds, 120 species of fish, 35 reptiles, and eight species of amphibians.

Of these, two species of amphibians, 14 species of reptiles, 25 species of birds and five species of mammals are currently endangered.

Since Remal hit the coastal areas on Sunday, the Forest Department has recovered 111 carcasses of the spotted deer, one of the most cherished creatures of the forest, till Friday.

Mihir Kumar Doe has been quoted as saying the Sundarbans faced an unprecedented situation this time after the cyclone.

Meanwhile, Chief Conservator of Forests Amir Hossain Chowdhury on Friday said that Mihir Kumar Doe and divisional forest officers of Sundarban East and West Divisions have been instructed to list the damage to wild animals and forest plants on the ground.