Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

The Sundarbans also known as the Kingfisher paradise

(Bengali: সুন্দরবন, Shundôrbôn) is a natural region comprising southern Bangladesh and a part in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans covers approximately 10,000 square Tiger in Sundarbankilometres most of which is in Bangladesh with the remainder in India. The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sundarbans South, East and West are three protected forests in Bangladesh. This region is densely covered by mangrove forests, Collared Kingfisher - Green humourand is the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. The Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal.

The name Sundarban can be literally translated as "beautiful forest" in the Bengali language (Shundor, "beautiful" and bon, "forest"). The name may have been derived from the Sundari trees (the mangrove species Heritiera fomes) that are found in Sundarbans in large numbers.

Alternatively, it has been proposed that the name is a corruption of Samudraban, Shomudrobôn ("Sea Forest"), or Chandra-bandhe Common Kingfisher - Green humour(name of a primitive tribe). However, the generally accepted view is the one associated with Sundari trees.

The Bangladesh part of the forest lies under two forest divisions, and four administrative ranges viz Chandpai (Khulna District), Sarankhola (Khulna), and Burigoalini Stork-billed Kingfisher - Green humour(Satkhira District) and has sixteen forest stations. It is further divided into fifty-five compartments and nine blocks.

There are three wildlife sanctuaries established in 1977 under the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) Order, 1973 (P.O. 23 of 1973). The West Bengal part of the forest lies under the district of South & North 24 Parganas.

Protected areas cover 15% of the Sundarbans mangroves including Sundarbans National Park and Sajnakhali Wildlife Sanctuary, in West Bengal, Sundarbans East, Sundarbans South and Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuaries in Bangladesh.

Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary
Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region supports several mangroves, including: sparse stands of Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) and dense stands of Goran (Ceriops tagal), with discontinuous patches of Hantal palm Bengali Tiger - Green humour(Phoenix paludosa) on drier ground, river banks and levees. The fauna of the sanctuary is very diverse with some 40 species of mammals, 260 species of birds and 35 species of reptiles. The greatest of these being the Bengal tiger of which an estimated 350 remain in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. Other large mammals are wild boar, chital horin (spotted deer), Indian otter and macaque monkey. Five species of marine turtles frequent the coastal zone and two endangered reptiles are present – the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary
Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary extends over an area of 31,227 hectares (77,160 acres). Sundari trees (Heritiera fomes) dominate the flora, interspersed with Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) and Passur (Xylocarpus mekongensis) with Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza) occurring in areas subject to more frequent flooding. There is an understory of Shingra (Cynometra ramiflora) where, soils are drier and Amur (Aglaia cucullata) in wetter areas and Goran (Ceriops decandra) in more saline places. Nypa palm (Nypa fruticans) is widespread along drainage lines.

Sundarbans South Wildlife Sanctuary
Sundarbans South Wildlife Sanctuary extends over an area of 36,970 hectares (91,400 acres). There is evidently the greatest seasonal variation in salinity levels and possibly represents an area of relatively longer duration of moderate salinity where Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) is the dominant woody species. It is often mixed with Sundri, which is able to displace in circumstances such as artificially opened canopies where Sundri does not regenerate as effectively. It is also frequently associated with a dense understory of Goran (Ceriops tagal) and sometimes Passur.

Tiger safari and bird watching in Sundarbans

Map of the protected areas of the Indian Sundarban
Full size map, click HERE
Map of the protected areas of the Indian Sundarban, showing the boundaries of the Tiger Reserve, the National
Park and the three Wildlife Sanctuaries, conservation and lodging centres, subsistence towns, and access
points. The entire forested (dark green) area constitutes the Biosphere Reserve, with the remaining
forests outside the national park and wildlife sanctuaries being given the status of a Reserve Forest.


Sundarbans National Park

The Sundarban National Park (Bengali: সুন্দরবন জাতীয় উদ্যান Shundorbôn Jatiyo Udyan) is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal, India. It is part of the Sundarban on the Ganges Delta, and adjacent to the Sundarban Reserve Brown-winged Kingfisher - Green humourForest in Bangladesh. The delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger.

It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. The present Sundarban National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. On 4 May 1984 it was declared a National Park.

Flora
Sundarban has achieved its name from the Sundari Trees. It is the most exquisite variety of tree that are found in this area, a special kind of Mangrove tree. It has specialised roots called pneumatophore which emerge above ground and help in gaseous exchange i.e. respiration. During the rainy season when the entire forest is water logged, the spikes rising from the ground has their peak in the air and helps in the respiration process.

Fauna
The Sundarbans forest is home to more than 400 tigers. The royal Bengal tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters, and are famous for their man-eating tendencies. Tigers can be seen on the river banks sunbathing between November and February. Apart from the Bengal tiger, Fishing cats, Leopard cats, Macaques, Wild boar, Indian grey mongoose, Fox, Jungle cat, Flying fox, Pangolin, Chital, are also found in abundance in the Sundarbans.

Avifauna
Some of the birds commonly found in this region are openbill storks, black-capped kingfishers, black-headed ibis, water hens, coots, Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, pariah kites, brahminy kite, marsh harriers, swamp partridges, red junglefowl, spotted doves, common mynahs, jungle crows, jungle babblers, cotton teals, Pied Kingfisher - Green humourherring gulls, Caspian terns, gray herons, common snipes, wood sandpipers, green pigeons, rose ringed parakeets, paradise-flycatchers, cormorants, grey-headed fish eagles, White-bellied Sea Eagles, seagulls, common kingfishers, peregrine falcons, woodpeckers, whimbrels, black-tailed godwits, little stints, eastern knots, curlews, golden plovers, northern pintails, white-eyed pochards and whistling teals.

Sundarbans is also known as the Kingfisher paradise. So this promise to be an exciting bird watching tour

Aqua fauna
Some of the aquatic animals found in the park are sawfish, butter fish, electric rays, silver carp, starfish, common carp, horseshoe crabs, prawn, shrimps, Gangetic dolphins, skipping frogs, common toads and tree frogs.

Reptiles
Crocodile at Sundarbans
The Sundarbans National Park houses a large number of reptiles as well, including estuarine crocodiles, chameleons, monitor lizards, turtles, including olive ridley, hawksbill, and green turtles; and snakes including python, king cobra, rat snake, Russell's viper, dog faced water snake, checkered keelback, and common krait.

Endangered species
The endangered species that lives within the Sundarbans are royal Bengal tiger, saltwater crocodile, river terrapin, olive ridley turtle, Ganges River dolphin, hawksbill turtle and mangrove horseshoe crab.

Marine mammals
The proposed Sundarbans Cetacean Diversity Protected Area, includes the coastal waters off Sundarbans that host critical habitats for endangered cetaceans; resident groups of Bryde's whales, a newly rediscovered critical population of Irrawaddy dolphins, Ganges River dolphins, and humpback dolphins. Finless porpoises, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, and pantropical spotted dolphins are also found in this area.

Sundarban National Park

Sundarban Tiger Reserve

The Sundarban Tiger Reserve is located in South 24 Paraganas, West Bengal and has a total geographical area of 2585 km2 with 1437.4 km2 consisting of populated areas and forest covering 1474 km2. Sundarban landscape is continuous with the mangrove habitat Crested Kingfisher - Green humourin Bangladesh.

Sundarban mangroves form part of the subcontinent's largest mangrove system with a tiger population in a distinct ecological setting. These forests have salt water crocodiles, estuarine and marine turtles and a number of bird species. Besides tiger, the reserve has fishing cat, spotted deer, rhesus monkey and wild pigs.

The Sundarban is isolated with no forest connection to other tiger-occupied main land. Hence, there is heavy biotic pressure for forest resources. On average 500 quintals of Black-capped Kingfisher - Green humourhoney and 30 quintals of wax are collected each year by local people under licence from Forest Department.

The habitat is traversed by many narrow tidal channels forming small to large islands. Tigers readily cross these islands and man-tiger interactions are common.

The estimation of tiger population in Sundarban, as a part of the all India tiger estimation using the refined methodology, could not be carried out owing to the unique habitat and obliteration of evidences due to high and low tides. Phase-I data collection has been completed and process is on for tiger estimation using a combination of radio telemetry and Blue-eared Kingfisher - Green humourpugmark deposition rate from known tigers.

Tiger attacks in the Sundarbans, in India and Bangladesh are estimated to kill from 0-50 (mean of 22.7 between 1947 and 1983) people per year. The Sundarbans is home to over 100 Bengal tigers, one of the largest single populations of tigers in one area. Before modern times, Sundarbans were said to "regularly kill fifty or sixty people a year".

These tigers are a little smaller and slimmer than those elsewhere in India but remain extremely powerful and are infamous for destroying small wooden boats. They are not the only tigers who live close to humans; in Bandhavgarh, villages encircle the tiger reserves, and yet attacks on people are rare. Although attacks were stalled temporarily in 2004 with new precautions, recently attacks have been on the rise. This is particularly due to the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher - Green humourdevastation on the Bangladeshi side of the swamp caused by Cyclone Sidr which has deprived tigers of traditional food sources (due to the natural upheaval) and has pushed them over towards the more populated Indian side of the swamp.

The locals and government officials take certain precautions to prevent attacks. Local fishermen will say prayers and perform rituals to the forest goddess, Bonbibi, before setting out on expeditions. Invocations to the tiger god Dakshin Rai are also considered a necessity by the local populace for safe passage throughout the Sundarbans area.

Fishermen and bushmen originally created masks made to look like faces to wear on the back of their heads because tigers always attack from behind.

This worked for a short time, but the tigers quickly realized it was a hoax, and the attacks continued. One local honey gatherer, Surendra Jana, 57, expressed that the tigers seem to have caught on to the mask trick, "Before we could understand the way they attacked. We don't feel safe any more, knowing our brothers have been attacked in spite of the tricks we use." Government officials wear stiff pads that rise up the back of the neck, similar to the pads of an American football player. This is to prevent the tigers from Tigers - Green humourRuddy Kingfisher - Green humourbiting into the spine, which is their favored attack method.

No one is exactly sure why the tigers of the Sundarbans are so aggressive towards humans, but scientists, biologists, and others have speculated about a number of reasons. These include:

• Since the Sundarbans is located in a coastal area, the water is relatively salty. In all other habitats, tigers drink fresh water. It is rumored that the saltiness of the water in this area has put them in a state of constant discomfort, leading them to be extremely aggressive. Freshwater lakes have been artificially made but to no avail.

• The high tides in the area destroy the tiger's urine and scat which serve as territorial markers. Thus, the only way for a tiger to defend its territory is to physically dominate everything that enters.

• Another possibility is that these tigers have grown used to human flesh due to the weather. Cyclones in this part of India and Bangladesh kill thousands, and the bodies drift out in to the swampy waters, where tigers scavenge them.

• Another possibility is that the tigers find hunting animals difficult due to the continuous high and low tides making the area marsh-like and slippery. Humans travel through the Sundarbans on boats gathering honey and fishing, making for easy prey. It is also believed that when a person stoops to work, the tiger mistakes them for a typical prey animal, and has, over time, acquired a 'taste' for the human flesh.

• It has also been hypothesized that the tigers in this area, due to their secluded habitat, avoided the brunt of the hunting sprees that occurred over the course of the 20th century. Tigers inhabiting the rest of Asia developed a fear of humans after these events, but tigers in the Sundarbans would never have had reason to stop seeing humans as prey.

About 5,000 people frequent the swamps and waterways of the Sundarbans. Fishing boats traverse the area and many stop to collect firewood, honey and other items. In the dark forest, tigers find it easy to stalk and attack men absorbed in their work. Even fishermen in Blyth's Kingfisher - Green humoursmall boats have been attacked due to tigers' strong swimming abilities.

Local villagers, who fear tiger attacks and resent the animal for killing their livestock, sometimes engage in revenge killings. On one occasion, a tiger had attacked and wounded the people in a village in south-west Bangladesh (near the Sundarbans) and frequently preyed upon their livestock. This roused the wrath of the villagers, and the feline became a target for their retribution. Poachers are also responsible for killing tigers in the reserve in an effort to sell them on the black market.

The human death rate has dropped significantly due to better management techniques and fewer people are killed each year. Even at the rate of fifty or sixty kills per year, humans would provide only about three percent of the yearly food requirements for the tiger population of the Sundarbans. Thus, humans are only a supplement to the tiger's diet; they do not provide a primary food source. This does not mean that the notoriety associated with this area is unfounded. Even if only 3% of a tiger's diet is human meat, that still amounts to the tiger killing and eating about one person per year, given the amount of food a tiger typically eats.

Villagers in the area have agreed to occasionally release livestock into the forest in order to provide an alternative food source for the tigers and discourage them from entering the villages. The government has agreed to subsidize the project to encourage village participation.

Yes, this promise to be an adventure!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

All the beautiful Kingfishers come from www.greenhumour.com A page well worth a visit. Actually, I recommend you to go visit the page. You might learn something!

Kingfishers of India - Green humour


Thursday 8th of March 2018 and we left the Gadkhali Lunch Ghat and Gadkhali, Gateway to Sundarbans begin at 11 thirty bound for the Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort. But firs at stop at the forest office to get our permission to visit the Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary - Sundarban Tiger Reserve. Then a few hours of tiger safari by boat before going to our hotel.

We were soon passing a Black-Headed Ibis/ Oriental White ibis on the river bank and I could get a few pictures before we continue. We're passing a new bird for me, the Indian Cursor. But the bird is too far away for the picture to be any good. So the bird don't make it to my list of observed birds. We also pass the beautiful Eurasian Curlew.

Black-Headed Ibis, Oriental White ibis, Threskiornis melanocephalus

Black-Headed Ibis, Oriental White ibis, Threskiornis melanocephalus
Black-headed Ibis or Oriental White ibis

Black-Headed Ibis, Oriental White ibis, Threskiornis melanocephalus
Black-headed Ibis or Oriental White ibis

Indian Courser
Indian Courser
Picture not good enough to make it to my list of observed birds

Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata

Fishing in River Bidya
Ladies fishing in the River Bidya

Fishing in River Bidya
Ladies fishing in the River Bidya

Fishing in River Bidya
Ladies fishing in the River Bidya

Fishing in River Bidya
Fishing in the River Bidya

River Bidya

Ferry on River Bidya
Ferry on River Bidya

Ferry on River Bidya
Ferry on River Bidya

Ferry on River Bidya
Ferry on River Bidya

Ferry on River Bidya
Ferry on River Bidya

We continued down the river and I was hoping to see the Pied Kingfisher where we had seen them last time. I didn't recognised the river and they told me that they had taken a different route this time. And they told me that this route was longer than the route we had taken last time. This was not any good news for me.

And on top of this they told me that we had to stop to fill fresh water and there was only one place to fill fresh water in the Sundarban area. I saw my paid “half day” of tiger safari disappearing down the drain. I was not happy as I had expected to be looking for tigers by now.

There was a hose floating in the water and I went ashore to look for birds while they were filling fresh water. I saw a black sunbird in the trees and I saw the Green Bee-eater sitting on the wire. There were a few of them and they had their nest in the sand wall under the walk path.

Bunkering fresh water in Sundarban
We stop for fresh water

Bunkering fresh water in Sundarban
We stop for fresh water

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Green Bee-eater

Crested Honey Buzzard or Oriental Honey Buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus
Crested Honey Buzzard or Oriental Honey Buzzard

Crested Honey Buzzard or Oriental Honey Buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus
Crested Honey Buzzard or Oriental Honey Buzzard

Sundarban forest office
We're at the forest office - An 4 hours and 20 minutes journey

Sundarban forest office
We're at the forest office - An 4 hours and 20 minutes journey

We left the fresh water place and we were now finally bound for the forest office. We spotted a bird of prey sitting in a tree next to the river. The bird was covered by leafs and branches so it was not easy to get a picture. My Guide thought it was an Oriental Honey-buzzard, but I will have to get this confirmed before the bird make it to my list of observed birds.



I got the bird identified by a helpful member of the www.birdforum.net. It is a Crested Honey Buzzard or Oriental Honey Buzzard

Thanks a lot!

We had 5 to 10 minutes to go from the Raptor to the forest office. Took a few minutes to get the permit to enter the Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary - Sundarban Tiger Reserve. It had taken us 4 hours and 20 minutes to get from Gadkhali to the Sundarbans. Of course, there was no time for any tiger safari, something I had paid for. I was not so happy. I had expected more from JUSTTRAVELS India as I had been very satisfied last time we were here.

Well, there is 3 and a half more days of tiger safari here in Sundarban so it will Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st hopefully get better. We made it 10 minutes in to the Sundarban Tiger Reserve before we had to turn around and go back to the hotel.

We pass a Large-billed crow, better known as the Jungle Crow, at least in Thailand. We stop on Sundarban Medical Campthe way to drop our Guide and there is a Medical Camp on the jetty. They have these Medical Camp once a month for the villagers in Sundarban. A doctor goes around visiting the villages by boat. Seems to be a good service.

Eastern Jungle Crow, Corvus levaillantii, อีกา

Medical Camp in Sundarban
We stop to drop our Guide at the Waxpol Ghat

Medical Camp in Sundarban
Medical Camp at the Waxpol Ghat

Medical Camp in Sundarban
Medical Camp at the Waxpol Ghat

Great Egret
Great Egret in a tree next to our hotel “Ghat”

It was just a few minutes from the Medical Camp at the Waxpol Ghat to the ghat at Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort. We off loaded the luggage and I went to my room where I enjoyed a Pepsi MAX while waiting for them to bring my dinner. I had requested the same Cook as last time and I'm looking forward to his curry.

He made some very good curries last time I was in Sundarban. And he made very good Paratha bread and the dinner will be brought to my room at 7 and I'm getting hungry.

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort “Ghat”

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort “Ghat”

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
My room

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
My room

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Bringing dinner

Sundarban Riverside Holiday Resort
Bringing dinner

Excellent food and I was glad that I had requested this Cook again. Well, anyway, why change a winning concept, my alarm is set to go off at 4 o'clock tomorrow morning and we will leave at 6 o'clock. I hope we find at least one tiger, click HERE to find out if we're lucky.

My Guide told me that he only seen 2 tigers this year, and he have been guiding every day. He also told me that 18 people have been killed by tigers the last 12 months. And one person have been killed by a crocodile. So this promise to be an exciting adventure.



       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.



                                       

You are visitor no.
To www.aladdin.st since December 2005

Visitors from different countries since 26th of September 2011


Send me an e-mail My web page directory