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Current Affairs

Species of Sundarbans threatened by human activities

Date: 24 September 2021 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

Continuous loss of biodiversity has been observed along the human settlement areas of Sundarbans of India.

 

Background

The world has recently completed United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (2011-2020). The importance of biodiversity has been slowly realized.

 

Details

  • The Sundarban region is famous for many rare and threatened flora and fauna. They are necessary to maintain the integrity of the mangrove ecosystem.

  • The development of coastal infrastructure along with short term gains has gradually eroded the mangrove forests.

  • The loss of small patches may look less significant but these small patches host unique plant species that are natural habitats for several exotic fauna.

 

The upcoming threats

  • Coastal fisheries are the biggest culprit behind the drastic loss of mangrove habitats. Plants are being cleared for fisheries, aquaculture, pisciculture, shrimp farming, crab farming.

  • The pisciculture and aquaculture farming in Sundarban is a source of income for many people. This has made them extremely popular reason for destruction of habitat.

 

Importance

  • The building of dykes for protecting coastal villages against storm surges has been a big problem. The marine nutrients are unable to reach deeper mangrove areas.

  • As mangrove plants get destroyed, new exotic species will replace them. Many threatened species depending on mangrove plants will permanently extinct.

  • The discharges from fish ponds have polluted natural streams. Diverse molluscs and crustaceans have reported decline in their numbers. Many have vanished from human areas.