Global perspective Human stories

Bangladesh and India to conduct tiger census with help from UN agency

Bangladesh and India to conduct tiger census with help from UN agency

Bangladesh and India have announced they will begin conducting a census of tigers tomorrow - supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - in the Sundarbans, a fragile mangrove forest habitat shared by the two countries.

The tiger census is the first of a series of joint activities between the South Asian neighbours under a cross-border initiative to protect the health of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest.

The Sundarbans, which extend north from the Bay of Bengal, is home to more than 6 million people and a dwindling population of Bengal tigers. Its ecosystem is deteriorating because of population pressures and poorly enforced environmental regulations in Bangladesh and India.

The UNDP issued a statement today welcoming the move by Bangladesh and India, describing it as an "historic milestone in cross-border collaboration to protect globally significant biodiversity."

This tiger census should also be an improvement on previous attempts because it uses measuring methods considered more accurate by those in the field. As part of the census, local communities will receive training on how to help relocate "stray" tigers into the wild and away from populated areas.