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Write a short note on Sundarban Delta

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  • Last Updated : 30 Sep, 2022
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Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the Ganga delta formed in the confluence of Padma, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal. Sundarban means beautiful forest. The name of the place comes from the Sundari trees present only in this forest. Sundari trees are a Mangrove species of Heritiera fomes, they are present in abundance in this region. It is the area between the Baleswar River in Bangladesh and the Hooghly river in West Bengal, India. Sundarbans are enlisted as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Sundaram forest is present in the delta on the Bay of Bengal formed by the confluence of the Hoogly, Padma, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. This forest is divided between India and Bangladesh. The Indian part is about 42 percent of the total forest area of which 34 percent is occupied by water bodies. The Sunderbans is a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of mangrove trees. Due to the interconnection of waterways, all the parts of the forest are accessible by boat. The place is rich in plant and animal life. It is widely known for its Bengal tigers, but a large species of birds, deers, crocodiles and snakes also call it their home.

The Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests are tropical moist broadleaf forest regions present in  Bangladesh. It is a part of the brackish swamp forests that lie behind the Sundarbans Mangroves, here the salinity of the water is high. In the freshwater ecoregion the water is only a little brackish and it even becomes fresh when the freshwater from the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers flows into it and removes the salt water making a slit. It lies between the upland Lower Gangetic plain’s moist deciduous forests and the brackish water Sundarbans mangroves bordering the Bay of Bengal.

The Sundarbans Mangroves present on the coast forms the seaward fringe of the delta and is the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem, with 20,400 square kilometres in area. the place is mostly covered with trees known as Sundries. A large variety of plants is not present in this region. It has a thick canopy, and the undergrowth is mostly seedlings of the mangrove trees. Other than this there are a lot of other trees present in the forest.

In total there are around 334 known plant species in the Sundarbans forest. Mostly all other mangrove forests are a part of the Rhizophoraceae but the mangroves of Bangladesh are dominated by Malvaceae. A large number of Sundari trees are present in this region. Since 1900 very little botanical research has been done on the Sundarbans forest. Sundarbans is a unique wildlife-rich habitat. The most dominant animal in this region is the Bengal tiger. These forests provide a home to a large number of fishes, crabs, shrimp etc. The Indian part of the Sundarban has around 150 species of fish, 270 species of birds, 42 species of reptiles and many more. Wildlife Sanctuaries were built in this area to protect the natural habitat of these plants and animals.

Despite the government’s best efforts, there is a large threat to the Sundarbans forest. These threats are both man-made and natural. The 2007 Sidr cyclone damaged around 40 percent of the total Sundarban forest. The forest is even being affected by the increasing salinity as due the climate change the amount of freshwater the place is getting is reduced drastically. The May 2009 Cyclone Alia also affected the Sundarbans deeply. The construction of the Rampal power plant will further reduce the quality of habitat and endanger the mangrove forest.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions 1: Explain about the plant life in the sundarban forest.

Answer: 

In total there are around 334 known plant species in the Sundarbans forest. Mostly all other mangrove forests are a part of the Rhizophoraceae but the mangroves of Bangladesh are dominated by Malvaceae. A large number of Sundari trees are present in this region. Since 1900 very little botanical research has been done on the Sundarbans forest.

Question 2: What are the various factors endangering the Sundarban forest?

Answer: 

Despite the government’s best efforts, there is a large threat to the Sundarbans forest. These threats are both man-made and natural. The 2007 Sidr cyclone damaged around 40 percent of the total Sundarban forest. The forest is even being affected by the increasing salinity as due the climate change the amount of freshwater the place is getting is reduced drastically. The May 2009 Cyclone Alia also affected the Sundarbans deeply. The construction of the Rampal power plant will further reduce the quality of habitat and endanger the mangrove forest.  

Question 3: What is the area the Sundarbans cover?

Answer: 

Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the Ganga delta formed in the confluence of Padma, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans Mangroves present on the coast forms the seaward fringe of the delta and is the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem, with 20,400 square kilometres in area. the place is mostly covered with trees known as Sundries.

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