Why in News?
Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has released a study titled “Birds of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve”. The study documents the avifauna of the Sundarbans and also serves as a comprehensive photographic field guide with detailed distribution and locality data for all the species from the region.
- Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh.
Indian Sunder bans:
- Location: It is located in the southwestern part of the delta. It constitutes over 60% of India’s total mangrove forest area. It covers 4,200 sq. km and includes the Sunder ban Tiger Reserve — home to about 96 royal Bengal tigers.
- Recognition: It is a World Heritage site and a Ramsar site (a wetland site designated to be of international importance).
- Fauna in the region:
- Indian Sunder bans is part of the largest mangrove forest in the world and is home to 428 species of birds.
- Among these birds listed, some like the masked finfoot and the Buffy fish owl are recorded only from the Sundarbans.
- The area is also home to nine out of 12 species of kingfishers found in the country as well as rare species such as the Goliath heron and the spoon-billed sandpiper.
- Significance: India has over 1,300 species of birds and if 428 species of birds are from the Sunder bans, it means that one in every three birds in the country is found in the unique ecosystem.
Source: The Hindu