Release of the first national Tiger Action Plan for Bangladesh

Release of the first national Tiger Action Plan for Bangladesh

In a tiger-sized leap for conservation in Bangladesh, the Forest Department have created the first national Tiger Action Plan for the country.

With less than 3500 wild tigers left in the entire world, the 300-500 tigers of the Bangladesh Sundarbans represent one of the largest remaining intact populations, and therefore plays a significant part in the future of the species.  However, like the remaining tigers in other countries, the Sundarbans tigers face many threats.

Tigers are poached for the souvenir trade and to supply the international demand for tiger bone to make traditional Asian medicines. In addition, the Sundarbans suffers the highest numbers of fatal tiger attacks in the world; sometimes more than 50 people per year are killed. As a result, tigers are killed in retaliation when they stray into villages. The tiger’s main food source, spotted deer, is also illegally poached for domestic consumption. The tiger’s forest home – the Sundarbans itself – is threatened by unsustainable extraction of forest resources to feed a growing nation, and sea-level rise and changes in freshwater flow are also cause for concern.

To guide tiger conservation efforts over the next eight years, the Bangladesh Forest Department has developed the first Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan 2009-2017, with support from the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, the Zoological Society of London, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the University of Minnesota.  The launch of the Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan is timely – officials from all tiger countries are this week converging at the Global Tiger Initiative Conference inKathmandu to discuss how to put a halt to the fast decline of wild tigers.  Bangladesh Forest Department officials and representatives from the joint Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh and Zoological Society of London tiger project are in attendance to work with the other tiger countries to find innovative ways of tackling the tiger crisis.

The Action Plan focuses on the tiger, but indeed describes how saving the tiger will also help to save the Sundarbans, which represents almost half of Bangladesh’s remaining forest.  Without a doubt this is a task that needs the support of the nation – one of the greatest challenges facing the forest and its tigers is the need to balance the current demands on the Sundarbans whilst ensuring it survives for future generations, of both people and wildlife.

The Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan is available for download: Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan.

More details on the existing tiger conservation efforts in Bangladesh can be found on

The BBC article on the Tiger Action Plan:

Christina J. Greenwood is from the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Christina is a co-author of the Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan and working with the WTB and ZSL teams to grow the tiger conservation effort in Bangladesh in line with the contents of the Action Plan.