Indian Sunderbans, which is part of the largest mangrove forest in the world, is home to 428 species of birds, according to the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
- The publication, “Birds of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve” is released by the ZSI.
- It not only documents the avifauna of the Sunderbans, but also serves as comprehensive photographic field guide, with detailed distribution and locality data for all the species from the region.
Key-findings of the Report
- Out of 428 birds listed, some, like the Masked Finfoot and Buffy fish owl, are recorded only from the Sunderbans.
- The area is home to nine out of 12 species of kingfishers found in the country as well rare species such as the Goliath heron and Spoon-billed Sandpiper.
- India has over 1,300 species of birds and if 428 species of birds are from Sunderbans. It means that one in every three birds in the country is found in the unique ecosystem.
- The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.
- The Indian Sunderbans, which covers 4,200 sq km, comprises of the Sunderban Tiger Reserve of 2,585 sq km, home to about 96 Royal Bengal Tigers (as per last census in 2020 ), is also a world heritage site and a Ramsar Site.
- It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987.
- The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes.
- The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.