|Flora & Fauna in Bangladesh|
|More than 650 species of birds & Home to the Royal Bengal Tiger|
Each season produces its special variety of flowers in Bangladesh; among them, the prolific Water Hyacinth flourishes. Its carpet of thick green leaves and blue flowers gives the impression that solid ground lies underneath. Other decorative plants, which are widely spread are Jasmine, Water Lily, Rose, Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Magnolia, and an incredible diversity of wild orchids in the forested areas.
Bangladesh is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and others of the cat family, such as leopards and the smaller fishing and jungle cats. Tigers are almost exclusively confined to the Sundarbans, but their smaller relatives prey on domestic animals all over the country. There are three varieties of civet, including the Large Indian Civet which is now listed as an endangered species. Other large animals include Asiatic elephants (mostly migratory herds from India), a few black bears in Chittagong division, wild pigs and deer. Monkeys, languor, gibbons (the only ape in the subcontinent), otters and mangooses are some of the smaller animals. Wild buffalo and rhinoceros were recorded in Bangladesh, but all became extinct in the last century.
Reptiles include the sea tortoise, mud turtle, river tortoise, crocodile, python, king cobra and a variety of other poisonous snakes. The voluble gecko lizard is appropriately known here as tik-tiki. Marine life includes a wide variety of both river and sea fish.
Bangladesh can boast of being the habitat to more than 650 species of birds, almost half of those found on the entire subcontinent. Tucked in between the Indian subcontinent and the Malayan peninsulas, Bangladesh attracts both Indian species in the west and north of the country, and the Malayan species in the east and south-east. It is also conveniently located for the migratory birds heading south towards Malaysia and Indonesia and those moving south west to India and Sri Lanka. In addition, there are a number of Himalayan and Burmese hill species, which move into the lowlands during winter. Despite the fact that many of these species are rare or localized and that the overall number of birds has rapidly declined in the past two decades, bird watching in Bangladesh is very rewarding.
Not far from Dhaka, in the Modhupur Forest, is an extremely important habitat under national protection. This area is great for a variety of owls, including the popular and rare Brown Wood Owl, wintering thrushes and a number of raptors. The Jamuna River floods the area regularly and provides winter habitats for water fowl, waders, and occasionally the Black Stork from December to February.
Lying close to the Himalayas, the Sylhet area has extensive natural depressed lands locally called ‘haors’ (pronounced ‘howers’, wetlands). During the winter season they are home to huge flocks of wild fowl. Outstanding species include the rare Baer’s pochard and Pallas’ fishing eagle, along with a great number of ducks and skulkers. Other important habitats are the remaining fragments of evergreen and teak forests, especially along the Indian border near the Srimongal area. The blue-bearded bee-eater, red breasted trogan and a wide variety of forest birds, including rare visitors, are regularly seen in these forests. One of two important coastal zones is the Noakhali region, with emphasis on the islands near Hatiya, where migratory species and a variety of wintering waders find suitable refuge. These include large numbers of the rare spoonbilled sandpiper, Nordman’s greenshank and flocks of Indian skimmers.
The Sundarbans, the second and most important coastal zone, is the richest area for all kinds of wildlife and the most difficult to penetrate. With its miles of marshy shorelines and brackish creeks, it supports a great number of wetland and forest species, along with large populations of gulls and terns along the south coast. Nine varieties of kingfishers have been recorded here including the brown-winged, white-collard, black-capped and the rare ruddy kingfisher.
Abundance of Bangladesh's
bird life makes it an ornithologist's paradise. Of the 525-recorded species,
350 are resident. Among them are bulbul, magpie, robin, common game birds,
cuckoos, hawks, owls, crows, kingfishers, woodpeckers, parrots and myna.
A wide variety of warblers are also found. Some of them are migrants and
appear only in winter. The migratory and seasonal birds are pre-dominantly
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