The Forest Department has planned to monitor the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO world heritage site, with drones to check crimes like poaching of tigers and deer.
The department also considers erecting net-fence around the forest to prevent the intrusion of tigers into the localities.
The new moves came after Indian forest department has succeeded in checking such crimes and tiger attacks successfully implementing the two initiatives on their part of the Sunderbans.
Deputy minister for environment, forests and climate change Habibun Nahar has recently said all kinds of measures would be taken to beef up security in the coastal region, including the Sunderbans, through using modern technology.
Sources at the local Forest Department said various crimes, including felling of trees, catching fish defying ban, and the poaching of tigers and deer were going on in the Sunderbans.
To check such crimes, the Forest Department was planning to deploy drones, said Md Amir Hossain Chowdhury, deputy chief conservator of forest. ‘Drones will play an effective role in checking illegal intrusion into the Sunderbans, poaching and robberies, and identifying those illegally net fish in the forest,’ he said.
Besides, tigers invade localities very often in search of food.
According to the Forest Department data, a total of 14 tigers were beaten to death by locals after those entered their localities in the last two decades.
Under the circumstances, the move to erect the net-fence around the Sunderbans was taken to prevent the movement of tigers into localities, sources said, adding that India has got a success after going for such a move.
Md Modinul Ahsan, Khulna divisional forest officer of Wildlife Management and Nature Conversation Division, said they forwarded the project to erect the net-fence around the Sunderbans to the government. ‘Besides, the issue of monitoring the Sunderbans with modern technology will be there in the project,’ he said.
Rafiqul Islam Khokon, adviser to the Sunderbans Academy, said that the use of modern technology like drone could save the mangrove forest. ‘It’s possible to monitor through drones what happens inside the Sunderbans,’ he said.
He also said if the sources of drinkable water and food for tigers could be ensured, they would not invade localities. ‘And it can be known beforehand through the modern technology whether tigers are entering any locality.’
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