The tigers of Bengal are imposing animals that, if we don’t do something urgent about, we could only remember about in books or documentaries of the past. This is because human activity has been reducing the largest natural refuge in the world of this species.
It is a mangrove forest known as Sundarbans, which occupies more than 6,000 square miles, and covers part of India and Bangladesh.
However, poaching and degradation of their habitat have put the Bengal tigers at serious risk, according to the director of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) species and landscapes program, Dipankar Ghose, the number of these Felines decreased dramatically from 440 to 106 between the years 2004 and 2015.
Climate change also has a hand
Similarly, climate change also contributes to a possible extinction of this species, since, according to a study consulted by CNN, the rise in sea level and the most extreme climate would cause Sundarbans to stop being an adequate habitat for the tigers of Bengal by 2070.
Sea level rise and decreased rainfall already increased the amount of salt in the water, killing Sundri trees, from which the Sundarbans region gets its name, and reducing tiger mangrove habitat, according to Sharif Mukul, co-author of the study and assistant professor at the Independent University of Bangladesh.
This is so and the study does not take into account the impact of the disease outbreak, poaching and prey reduction, Mukul said, which means that the actual scenario could be better or even worse than projected.
For his part, Ratul Saha, of the WWF Sundarbans Landscape Program, said in an interview with CNN that “it is crucial that the necessary measures are taken to increase the climate resilience in the region. For the tigers, conservation efforts should remain focused on the restoration and protection of the habitat.”