• Saturday, Jun 25, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Deer sanctuary in Nijhum Dwip threatened!

  • Published at 07:44 pm August 28th, 2020
File photo of spotted deer at the Sundarbans Dhaka Tribune

Without any embankments protecting the small island, which sits at the intersection of the Meghna River and the Bay of Bengal, its wildlife population is extremely vulnerable to high tides from the Bay during monsoon

Nijhum Dwip in Noakhali's Hatiya upazila, best known for its national park that is a sanctuary for spotted deer, has become inundated by recent tidal surges putting its deer population at risk.

The small island, among a smattering of other islands south of Bangladesh, sits at the intersection of the Meghna River and the Bay of Bengal. 

Without any embankments protecting the island, its wildlife population is extremely vulnerable to high tides from the Bay during monsoon.

Home to around 3,000 deer, the island has gone under 4-5ft of floodwater, forcing the animals to take shelter on higher grounds in many localities.

Many deer are being chased away and killed by dogs and foxes as they take shelter in the localities. Besides, many deer have been washed away by the strong current in the rivers.

"An earthen fortress was built in 1982 inside the forest so that the deer could take refuge during natural disasters. But the fortress was levelled to the ground due to continuous tidal water in the last few years," said Belal Uddin, president of a committee formed to protect the Nijhum Dwip National Park.

The Forest Department had also built some ponds. The deer could take refuge on the bank of the ponds during high tides. But, the number of ponds are relatively less than the number of deer, he said. Besides, dogs or foxes attack the deer when they come into localities for shelter, Belal Uddin added.

Rafiqul Alom, executive director of Dwip Unnayan Sangstha, a non-governmental organization, working to make the Island tourist-friendly, said: “We along with some other NGOs surveyed the deer of Nijhum Dwip back in 2012. We suggested taking four steps to save the deer of Nijhum Dwip. 

The recommendations were: building multiple high fortresses, culling dogs, ensuring safe water for deer, and encasing the forest with high-security wires." 

Nijhum Dwip Forest Guard Beser Uddin said: "The deer are taking shelter on roads at Bandartila and Namar Bazar areas as the island is flooded due to tidal surge and incessant rainfall." 

This island comprising around 40, 390 acres of land was declared as a National Park in 2001 and is now one of the attractive tourist spots for its rich flora and fauna diversity. 

The natural beauty has been enhanced by deer, monkeys, wild boars, wild buffaloes, fishing cats, snakes, turtles, tortoises, Bengal monitor, black lizard, yellow monitor, oriental small-clawed otters, clawless otters and a huge number of migratory winter birds.

Meanwhile, thousands of inhabitants of Nijhum Dwip have been facing trouble as the high tide has left the remote island inundated for a week. The high tide flooded houses, roads and small streets, washed away fish hatcheries and drowned domestic animals. 

Parts of the island have experienced an acute shortage of safe drinking water and food. In many households, people are unable to light their stoves to cook as those are already submerged.

Speaking on the issue, Hatia Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Rezaul Karim, said: "At least 20 villages under 11 unions of the upazila have been flooded by the tidal surge and incessant rainfall. Authorities are working to mitigate the sufferings of the locals."

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail