The Annotated Ramsar List: Bangladesh

10/01/2000

The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

BANGLADESH

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Bangladesh on 21 September 1992. Bangladesh presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 611,200 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Tanguar Haor.10/07/00; Sunamganj; 9,500 ha; 25º09'N 091º04'E. Bangladesh's most important freshwater wetland, the site lies in the northeastern part of the country in the floodplain of the Surma River, one of the main tributaries of the Brahmaputra at the base of the Meghalaya Hills in adjacent India. The area harbours some of the last vestiges of natural swamp forest and is totally flooded in the monsoon season, apart from artificial hillocks upon which homesteads are constructed. Tanguar Haor provides habitat for at least 135 fish and 208 bird species, including 92 waterbird species and 98 migratory bird species, and including 10 IUCN Red Book and 22 CITES listed species. About 30-40,000 migratory waterfowl converge on the area in the northern winter months, and rare species such as Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucorhyphus are relatively common and breed in the area. Tanguar Haor also supports a rich fishery and is regarded as one of the country's richest breeding grounds for freshwater fish. Threats include over-exploited fishery stocks and uncontrolled taking of waterfowl, and the local community has been denied access to the resources by leaseholders of the fishery, which has led to conflicts. Under the National Conservation Strategy Implementation Project-1, a first management plan was produced in 1997 and a new one is going into implementation in 2000, which is intended to restore access and use rights. Hunting of turtles, tortoises, and waterfowl is widespread and part of everyday life, and the way of life - living in homesteads built on mounds -- is said to be unique in this part of Bangladesh. Ramsar site no. 1031.Most recent RIS information: 2000.

The Sundarbans Reserved Forest. 21/05/92; Khulna; 601,700 ha, 22°02'N 089°31'E. Reserved Forest, World Heritage Site. At the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, which with the innumerable small channels and creeks flowing into the Bay of Bengal dissect the whole area creating the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world, the site is a hotspot of rich flora and fauna, home to a number of unique and endangered species of plants, animals like endangered Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), vulnerable Pallas Fishing Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) and Masked Finfoot (Heliopais personata), and critically endangered River Terrapin (Batagur baska), all listed in the IUCN Red Book, rare species of shark (Glyphis gangeticus) and very rich avifauna with 315 species, of which 84 are migratory. Many fish species depend upon this transitional zone between freshwater and saline water pushed by high tides from open sea, for spawning and juvenile feeding. The wetland is remarkable for protection from the tidal surge generated from the cyclonic depression in the Bay of Bengal. Abundant fish and biomass resources are harvested by local communities. Artifacts and festivals within the site have high Hindu religious and cultural importance. Reduction in fresh water flow due to water diversion, the construction of dykes combined with the pollution of the industries and the ports of Khulna and Mongla have affected the plant and fish population. There are 8 research field stations that provide data for ongoing studies and research. Recently an information center was established at Khulna and a management plan is under preparation. Ramsar site no. 560. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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