Sound pollution hits reproductive cycle of Sundarbans wildlife

February 27, 2010

Presence of the increasing number of tourists with traditional and modern electronic devices are creating various problems for wildlife living and reproductive cycle in the Sundarbans, reports BSS.
Preservation of the forest is possible checking unnatural sound. A number of steps, including freeing the Sundarbans from the sound pollution, have been taken, Deputy Conservator of Forest Abani Bhusan Thakur told BSS today.
Many officials privately said the attempt which has been pursued since long is yet to be successful due to lack of awareness of the tourists on echo tourism and other problems.
They called for a technical survey to keep the number of tourists in the Sundarbans at a tolerable limit maintaining all prerequisites for echo tourism.
According to the current official figure, a total of 5,391 tourists, including 96 foreigners, visited the Sundarbans by December this fiscal.
The number may be over 10,000 this year as the tourism season started in November and would end in March. Last year 17,033 tourists visited the Sundarbans, which is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.
The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world covering 6,017 square kilometers of land and water, a home for about 440 tigers, 1.50 lakh deer, 40,000-50,000 monkeys, 20,000- 25,000 wild boars, 150-200 crocodiles and 20,000-25,000 otters, according to an official estimate.
The natural habitats of the wildlife are being disturbed creating sound pollution frequently using traditional microphones and electronic devices like MP3 and sound boxes.
Besides, the tourists taking night halts in launches in the Sundarbans frequent use deep penetrating torch-lights, long-range sun guns to watch the jungles or shoot video films that frighten birds and animals, said forest guards.
Two guards are deployed for security of each tourist- carrying engine vessel in the forest.
“We are always rebuked by the tourists when we alert them for the do’s and don’ts,” five forest guards, separately, said.
A guard said there are people who believe that the animals love songs be it in Bangla, Hindi, Urdu or English.
The forest department last year announced that 50 tourists could visit the Sundarbans by a launch.
The government is contemplating to formulate a tourist policy to achieve the goal of echo tourism, the deputy conservator of forest said.

Courtesy of BSS via The News Today

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