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Marine Places

Sundarbans Mangrove Forest

This forest, a World Heritage Site since 1997, is the largest continuous mangrove ecosystem in the world. It is part of a huge delta formed by sediments from the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. The region contains thousands of mangrove-covered islands intersected by an intricate network of waterways. The Bengal tiger swims here from island to island, hunting prey such as spotted deer and wild boar. Other inhabitants include fishing cats, rhesus macaque monkeys, water monitor lizards, hermit crabs, and various species of sharks and dolphins. Habitat destruction threatens this region: more than half of the original mangroves have been cut down.

Gavial

One extremely endangered inhabitant of the wetlands and rivers of Bangladesh is the gavial, a crocodilian. Once quite common in the Sundarbans, their numbers have dwindled due to accidental capture in fishing nets and other factors. Gavials are probably heading for regional extinction, although captive breeding programs in India and Nepal aim to save the species.

Sundarbans Mangrove Forestzoom image
  • Indian Ocean North
  • Principal Species Sundri, milky mangrove, yellow mangrove, Indian mangrove, keora
  • Area 3,200 square miles (8,000 square km)
  • Location Southwestern Bangladesh and northeastern India, between Calcutta and Chittagong
Sundarbans Mangrove Forest habitat mapzoom image