Nature Ramble

India, Bangladesh and Africa this week.

Regal species are losing ground.

I’m talking about Bengal tigers and African lions.

Tigers under threat from disappearing mangrove forest

Report shows vast forest, shared by India and Bangladesh, is being rapidly destroyed by environmental change

A tiger roams within the Sunderban, some 140 km south of Calcutta. Photograph: EPA/Piyal Adhikary Photograph: Piyal Adhikary/EPA

A vast mangrove forest shared by India and Bangladesh that is home to possibly 500 Bengal tigers is being rapidly destroyed by erosion, rising sea levels and storm surges, according to a major study by researchers at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and others.

The Sundarbans forest took the brunt of super cyclone Sidr in 2007, but new satellite studies show that 71% of the forested coastline is retreating by as much as 200 metres a year. If erosion continues at this pace, already threatened tiger populations living in the forests will be put further at risk.

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Big cat crisis: Africa’s lions being crowded out by people

Satellite survey shows farms and settlements eating up open savannah, especially in west Africa where only 500 lions remain

The lions that roam Africa’s savannah have lost as much as 75% of their habitat in the last 50 years, a study has found. Photograph: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

African lions are running out of room to roam and some local populations, especially in west Africa, are heading for extinction, a new study warns.

New satellite data, studied by scientists from Duke University, found about three-quarters of Africa’s wide open savannah had disappeared over the last half century, broken up into farms or engulfed by development.

“The reality is that from an original area a third larger than the continental United States, only 25% remains,” Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Lion populations have dropped by two-thirds over the last half century – down to as few as 32,000, confined to isolated pockets of land. Only 10 of those 67 lion areas are stable and well-protected – lion “strongholds”. Other populations, especially in west and central Africa, were so small and so threatened – by poachers, disease, or inbreeding – they may not survive for long into the future.

The study estimates that more than 6,000 lions are in populations with a very high risk of local extinction.

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Comment:

So sad to see these, amongst the most regal animals, are threatened by man’s progress.

What a high price we pay.

 

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. It wouldn’t surprise me if in a few years the only place we will be able to find many animals is in zoos, which is a horrible fate for them. I can’t visit a zoo without it affecting me and leaving me depressed. I have only visited one in the last 20+ years.

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