Indian Sundarbans is home to 428 species of birds, states the recent publication “Birds of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve’ of The Zoological Survey of India. This publication not only documents the birds but also gives the detailed distribution and locality data for all the species from the region. It has been compiled by Kaliash Chandra, Director ZSI, Gopinathan Maheshwaran, head of the bird section of the ZSI and Amitava Majumdar.
According to the scientists, out of the total 428 birds, there are a few birds that only found in Sundarbans which are the Masked Finfoot and Buffy fish owl. There are 12 species of kingfisher found in the country and out of them, Sundarbans is home for nine such species including the rare ones such as Goliath heron and Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Talking about the publication, Dr Chandra also highlighted the unique ecosystem of Sundarbans and mentioned that there are over 1300 species of birds found in the country and out of them, 428 species of birds are found in Sundarbans. He also mentioned that they want to encourage bird-watching as it will not only bring people closer to nature but also create a livelihood for the locals. This publication will not only give a detail description of bird species but also the localities where they are found.
With an area of 4,200 sq km, the Indian Sundarbans has the most diverse natural landscape and has one of the largest mangrove forests in the country. It accounts around 60 % of all mangrove forests in the country and is home to around 96 Royal Bengal Tigers in the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve which covers a total of 2,585 sq. km.