Status of tigers in 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve
The Sundarbans forests in its entirety in India and Bangladesh is about 10,000 sq km, of which 40% lies in southeast West Bengal in India. This mangrove forest is divided into the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, and is the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers are found. Since 1972, studies have been conducted to understand and estimate tiger populations in the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, but not for the 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, which is also a tiger habitat but does not have a legal protection status. WWF-India, in collaboration with the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, conducted the first ever tiger estimation exercise in this forest division as part of the Phase-IV tiger estimation. Of the 1682 sq km area of the 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, the field team surveyed 982.56 sq km over a period of more than 1080 work days, covering diverse habitats such as beaches, mangrove swamps, and tidal flats.