Sunderban is the largest mangrove wetland in the world. It covers an area of about 1mha, of which 60% is located in Bangladesh and the remaining western portion, comprising 40%, lies in India. Mangrove ecosystems are of great ecological significance in the tropical and sub-tropical coast. They protect our coast from heavy wind, tidal waves, coastal erosion and sea water intrusion, generate substantial quantities of fishery resources and provide many useful forestry products. The Sunderban ecosystem supports rich fisheries diversity. This ecosystem support 27 families and 53 species of pelagic fish, 49 families’ 124 species of demersal fish, 5 families and 24 species of shrimps, 3 families and 7 species of crabs, 8 species of lobster. A total 334 plants, 165 algal, 13 special orchids, 17 fern, 87 monocotyledon and 230 dicotyledon belonging to 245 genera and 75 families from the sundarbans and adjacent area are found available. The principal tree species is Sundry (Heritiera fomes) which covers about 73% to total landmass and the second species is Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) which covers about 16% of total forest area. The magnificent among the animals on land is Royal Bengal Tiger, Spotted deer, barking deer and wild boars are there in plenty.
Ecology of Sunderban
What makes Sunderban is its uniqueness and distinction from other mangrove ecosystem in the world. It has the highest number of biodiversity of any mangrove ecosystem, both flora and fauna. The ecology is complex and has evolved for thousands of years. There are about 334 plants, 120 fishes, 35reptiles, 270 birds and 42 mammals. There is a whole complex network of interactions and each is dependent on one another for survival. Bangladesh being a deltaic region also means the soil is rich and fertile and the intrusion of saline water means the living organisms have to be very well adapted to experience freshwater half a day and saline water for the remaining half. The high and low...