Sundarbans tiger project

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The Sundarban Tiger project is a Bangladesh Forest Department initiative that effectively started its field activities in February 2005. The idea for creating such a project was first developed during a field survey in 2001 conducted by Md. Osman Gani, Ishtiaq U. Ahmad, James L. D. Smith and K. Ullas Karanth. They realized that the Sundarbans mangrove forest at the mouth of the Ganges River contained probably one of the largest populations of wild tigers left in the world. As such, there was an urgent need to start measures that would ensure the protection of this precious area.

The Save the Tiger Fund and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service generously donated funds to support the initial phase of research that aims to collect data on tiger ecology using telemetry, and study the tiger’s environment by assessing its habitat and prey.

But management of a wilderness area needs more than just information on the species to be protected. Personnel with skills and resources to implement conservation strategies, and the general support of the country are also required. So from the research base, the project is evolving rapidly to also encompass capacity building and conservation awareness activities. It has been able to do so through the forward thinking approach to management taken by the Forest Department, and the incredible support of the Bangladeshi people.

From 2004-2008, the project was administered by the Forest Department and utilized wildlife consultants from the University of Minnesota to advise on research strategies and train staff. From 2008 to 2012 the project was coordinated by the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, with advisory support from the Zoological Society of London. From 2013 the project has changed its name to "TigerTeam" under the coordination of the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, which in 2013 also changed its name to "WildTeam".

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