Has the carrying capacity of the Sunderbans arrived?
Published In a recent journal by the Society of Population Ecology the Indian section of the Sunderbans has a carrying capacity of 4.68 tigers per 100km basen on Chittal numbers and biomass within the mangoves. Given that the total habital area for the tiger amounts to about 2,325 sq km and that the latest tiger estmates for the area amount to about 90 aminals then there is concern that the carrying capacity has almost arrived. More tigers could possibly lead to overcrowding and cause the big cats to enter human habitation which of course would probably lead to human/tiger confrontation. However, if the prey base of the tiger was to increase then the carrying capacity of tigers could also increase in numbers.
Tiigers and other wildlife of course know no boundary between countries. Therefore within the larger Bangladesh section of the Sunderbans and at present containing a lesser density of both tigers and prey species more tigers could look to relocate and disburse in this area. Sadly poaching of both tigers and their prey species in Bangladesh is a huge problem compared with the Indian side. It is hoped that Bangladesh will be able to concentrate more on tiger conservation in the coming years.
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