Renowned as it is for the presence of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Sunderbans teems with around 248 bird, 55 reptile and 58 mammal species. Will all this enriching its habitat, this ecosystem is truly a phenomenon.
Observe grace in action in the chital deer. Primary diet of the Royal Bengal Tiger, they play a crucial role in impacting attacks of tigers on human beings. However, the shrinking space of protected areas and increase in poaching activity does highlight the vulnerability of the chital.
Gaze on the estuarine crocodile – A creature that can rival the tiger in terms of adaptability as well as ferociousness. With an amazing ability to endure salinity levels from 0% to 70%, the estuarine crocodile is truly at home in Sunderbans. Some are known to grow more than 20 feet in length.
The onerous task of aerating the mangrove cluttered soil of the Sunderbans falls on the insectivore – Indian Pangolin. With no teeth, poor auditory and visual capacity, this persevering creature relies on its five sharp claws in each limb to access anthills and mounds of termite. Ironically the hard scales that protect its body also make it the preferred target of poachers.
The pride of Sunderbans –the Irawaddy dolphin (known as the oceanic dolphin) and the Gangetic dolphin (river water dolphin) adorn its waters. Considered the fishermen’s friends, they help drive fishes in the net. Sadly, they are also at risk of getting entangled in these nets that suffocate them by preventing them from surfacing for air. The Gangetic dolphin, considered an endangered specie, is actually blind and uses echolocation to catch its prey.
Do seek out the elusive and endangered bird – Masked finfoot. Reticent, yet opportunistic it can pick its prey right off the water’s surface. The degradation of the wetland and the rapidly declining riverine lowland has contributed to the vulnerability of this winged wonder.
Go ahead, explore, marvel and be awed by this kaleidoscope of wildlife in nature.