Sundarbans Reserved Forest
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.