Hossain Sohel


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hossain Sohel: The Plight of Royal Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans...

Hossain Sohel: The Plight of Royal Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans...: "The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It is rich in biodiversity that includes about 350 species of vascular plants..."

The Plight of Royal Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans

The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It is rich in biodiversity that includes about 350 species of vascular plants, 250 of fishes and 300 species of birds. Apart from these, there are some rare species like Royal Bengal Tiger. All these wild creatures maintain the balance of food-chain in the forest. However, gradual declination of the number of the species has become a threat to biodiversity. Here is the first episode of our report on the plight of tiger based on Hosain Sohel’s findings...

The forest of the Sundarbans protected the entire coastal area of Southwestern Bangladesh from the catastrophic cyclone Sidr in the year 2007. On the other hand, life of the forest – Royal Bengal Tiger, being at the top of food-chain, has been safeguarding the World Heritage site, as it maintains the equilibrium of food-chain by keeping a balance between the ratio of tiger and deer.

However, supremacy of Royal Bengal Tiger is no longer observed in the Sundarban. The beast is now struggling for its survival due to the cruelty of poachers. Their number in the forest has shrinked to 440 from 40 thousand in 50 years. Local people, however, are not unaware of this.

Locals estimate that as many as 8 teams are active in hunting tigers in the Sundarban’s Sharonkhola, Rampal, Ashashuni, Shyamnagor and Kaliganj.

Usually, a tiger is sold at 0.2 to 0.5 million taka in local market, whereas, the skin of a tiger alone sells at 2 to 3 million taka in world market.

Competent sources said, a number of luxurious hotels of Dhaka and Chittagong house the market of tiger-hide. Besides, a band of hide traffickers is active in the capital’s Gulshan and Shahbagh.

Another group of smugglers are engaged in trafficking those to China by using neighboring India and Myanmar as transit routes.

According to a statistics, a total of 26 tigers were killed between 2001 and 2010.  However, if the spree to the gradual elimination of Royal Bengal Tiger continues, the rare species of the world will be extinct soon.

Hossain Sohel
Wildlife Reporter
ATN News Television
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Friday, March 04, 2011

Disappearance of Tiger Skin and the Role of Forest Department

Royal Bengal Tigers stand out for the unique stripes on their body. The awesome beauty of this dreadful beast makes it precious and yet vulnerable. According to a statistics, a total of 26 tigers were killed in the past 10 years in Bangladesh. Usually the skin of dead tigers is supposed to be preserved at the forest department. But, the fact is different. Here is the second episode of Hossain Sohel’s report relating to the plight of tigers in the Sundarbans.

Royal Bengal Tiger is the symbol of the nation's pride and strength for its regal appearance and rage. But today, the ferocity of them has been overshadowed by the cruelty and beastliness of human being. According to a statistics of Bangladesh Forest Department, as many as 26 tigers were killed in the Sundarbans from 2001 to 2010 by hunters and local mob.

Among those, the East Division of the forest department recorded the killing of 12, while the West Division recorded the remaining 14. A statistics say, the Sundarbans’ Chandpai Range is a commonplace for the secret hunting of tigers, while, many tigers were killed by mob beating in Shatkhira’s Shyamnagor.
As per available data, skins of the 12 out of 26 dead tigers are supposed to be preserved at the office of the forest department’s East Division.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of East Sundarbans Mihir Majumdar said, 2 hides were decomposed, as 2 others are being processed in tannery. But, apart from these 4 only 5 skins have been found in the safe.

On the other hand, the forest department under Khulna DFO Johiruddin is supposed to store up 14 remaining skins of tigers worth some 35 million taka. The on-duty officials therein, however, failed to display the skins.

According to another statistics, 24 tiger hides were seized by law enforcers during several drives in the past 20 years.

Besides, at least 41 tigers were killed from 1980 to 2000. According to the survey, a sum of 65 tiger skins are preserved at Dhaka Forest Department Office, said Dr Tapon Kumar Dey, the Chief of Wildlife Circle.

But regrettably, only 2 out of the estimated 65 skins were found. What is most concerning is that those who are supposed to protect wildlife are instead helping in their destruction.

Wildlife News of Bangladesh: Tiger Poacher Syndicate in Shundarban

Wildlife News of Bangladesh: Tiger Poacher Syndicate in Shundarban: " Tiger Poacher Syndicate in Shundarban Reported by Hossain Sohel atn news television, Dhaka, Bangladesh on air : 5.1.2011 Sundarban, ..."

Trafficking of Tiger Skeleton and Role of Forest Department

Different organs of tiger are sold at high prices outside Bangladesh, especially in China. As a result, hunters are on the rampage in the Sundarbans to kill this endangered animal. Hossain Sohel describes more on the reasons behind the killing of Royal Bengal Tigers……

Usually, poachers preserve the skin, eyes, teeth and even blood after killing a tiger. However, they initially bury the corpse for decomposition and exhume the exposed bones a month or two later.

Different organs of tiger are used for making varieties of medicines in different countries, especially in China. Particularly, its skeleton is very much costly. On an average, the skeleton of a mature tiger weighs roughly 40 kilograms, which costs about 4.5 to 5 million taka in the international market.

When a tiger is found dead or killed in the Sundarbans, Forest Department usually bury the body nearby the forest station. According to an estimate, 26 tigers were killed between 2001 and 2010 in the forest. Among them, four were buried near the enclosure of Kolagachhi Forest Station. An employee of the station admitted this.

However, in many cases, officials could not confirm the exact location of the buried tigers due to frequent transfer of Forest Department officials. Sometimes, they put blame on natural disasters to avoid the responsibility over the existence of any such skeleton of tigers.

Locals said irresponsibility and indifferent attitude of forest officials prompt poachers and traffickers to carry on this butchery that threatens the existence of the rare species of the world’s largest mangrove forest.

Felling of Nipa Palm or ‘Gol Pata’ in the Sundarbans

The livelihood of a large number of people living in the south-western part of the country depends on various resources of the Sundarbans. They enter the forest endangering their own life just in quest of living. An influential quarter exploits them in destroying the natural balance of the mangrove forest. Here is Hosain Sohel’s 4th episode of the report revealing various unknown aspects of the Sundarbans…

Winter is the regular season for collecting Nipa Palm, locally known as Gol Pata in the Sundarbans. The Bawalis or the collectors of Gol Pata enter the mangrove forest during the season with “permit card” issued by forest authority for gathering raw materials. They sometimes have to face the appalling tigers, leaving their family members anxious back at home.

At least 120 Bawalis laid down their life in the jaws of tigers in the past 10 years. An unscrupulous quarter of businessmen push them forth to death in this way in the name of offering earnings.

After entering the forest, the Bawalis not only gather Gol Pata, but they also cut down a large number of Sundari trees and hunt spotted deer. In a single season, Bawalis collect double the estimated amount of Gol Pata.

Bangladesh Forest Department has very little to do in this regard with their limited manpower and lack of proper equipment. Therefore, the ecological balance of the Sundarbans is at stake. If things thus go on unbridled, the largest mangrove forest in the world will soon lose its existence.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Man is the child of the nature

Wildlife Education

It is said that the mind of children is made of clay.
It can be turned into deliberate shapes.
If this is done, the children become an asset of the world.
The future of the children is embedded on the proper care,
Future enriches the country.

Man is the child of the nature.
Keeps her child in her lap.
Not one or two,
millions and millions of them.

Every creature has the right to live,
freely and fearlessly.
To keep the harmony is the duty of the mankind,
nature the variation of nature.

However, we the people of cities are much far from that duty.
Our children learn about the zoology.
But it is confined in the books only.
They have no idea how amazing
the creatures can be.
Rather they fear it, dislike it and ignore it.
That is not good to humanity.