The Bengal Tiger is more than just a symbol for Bangladesh.
Sadly, according to the latest census from last year, the tiger population in Bangladesh has fallen to dangerously low levels. There may be as few as 106 tigers in the Bangladeshi side of the Sundarbans.
The population estimate varies depending on the survey methodology used, but one thing is for certain: The tiger population is dwindling, and this does not bode well for Bangladesh.
We need to do all we can to protect our tigers. This means incorporating smart GPS systems for better surveillance and the formation of community patrol groups for better monitoring.
Human intervention is largely responsible for pushing tigers to the brink of extinction. This must be stopped. Robbers and poachers connected to international smuggling rackets must be brought to book. It is up to the Forest Department to take these concerns seriously.
More than just a symbol of national pride, the Bengal tiger occupies a delicate place in the biodiversity and ecological balance of the Sundarbans. The tiger’s habitat is a vital wildlife sanctuary and a natural bulwark against the sea. Our ability to protect both the tiger and the Sundarbans, then, is an indicator of our development as a nation.
Other nations which have undergone industrialisation and population growth have been able to use increasing prosperity to improve their ability to preserve wildlife and the environment. There is no reason Bangladesh should not be able to do the same, and protect its most iconic animal.
Failing to do so would not just harm our ecological balance, but also damage our national pride.
We hope Bangladesh places more priority on reducing destructive activities that endanger wildlife, and remembers to cherish our national treasures.