Sajnekhali: The Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary is situated on the confluence of Matla and Gumdi within the buffer zone that extends over an area of 885 sq km. Here you can have a
wide variety of birds, the most popular among them being the spotted billed pelican, cotton teal, herring gull, Caspian tern, grey heron, large egret, night heron, open-billed stork, white ibis, common kingfisher, brahmini kite and paradise flycatcher.
A rare winter migrant, Asian dowitcher, can also be found here.
Among the birds of prey are osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Pallas's fish eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), grey-headed fishing eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus), peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus), Oriental hobby (Falco severus), northern eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and brown fish owl.
Tiger Reserve: Project Tiger was implemented in 1973 and later the Sundarban Tiger Reserve was demarcated over 2,585-sq. km. The core area of 1,330 sq.km
has been declared a National park and has been chosen as a world heritage site. The 1980 census put the population of tiger in this reserve close to 400.
The reserve has a tiger population of 287 (in 1984 census). The only mangrove species, the tiger here has adapted well to its habitat.
Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project This is a crocodile breeding farm. Tours are organized by the WBTDC. This place is accessible through Namkhana. Both the West Bengal Tourism Department and the West Bengal Tourism
Development Corporation organize conducted tours to the Sundarbans by their launches. Bhagabatput is a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world.
Netidhopani: The ruins of a 400-year-old temple and legends lend mystery to the atmosphere.
Haliday Island: Last retreat of the Barking Deer.
Kanak: Nesting place of Olive Ridley Turtles.
Piyali: It is 72 kms from Kolkata and is a gateway to the Sunderban. It is being developed as a tourist complex.
Bakkhali: A well known beach resort, close to Frazerganj. It’s a bird- watchers’ paradise, where you can spot casuarinas and Red Fiddle Carbs.
Ganga Sagar (Kapil Muni Ashram): Ganga Sagar is a religiously important tirth and also has an exceptionally good beach for the tourists. Situated on an island in the
Sunderbans, it holds the charms of a completely unspoilt beach on the Frazerganj: It is a white sand beach is entirely different from the other beaches.
It can be accessed from Kolkata, and is a three hours drive. The destination is also famous for the migratory birds.
Mayadwip: The nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtles
The flora and fauna of Sunderbans are the major attractions. Sunderbans consist of a large flora population like Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan and
Kankra. Impenetrable Goran trees covers almost the entire region. Here the bayonet like roots of mangrove forests that stick out above the water level.
In Sunderbans you can explore unknown wildlife as jungle cats, fishing cats, Axis deer, wild boar, Rhesus monkeys, mongooses and the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.
Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds.
A wide variety of aquatic and reptile life forms that include Olive Ridley sea turtle, hardshelled Batgur Terrapin, Pythons, King cobra, Chequered killback, Monitor and lizards including the Salvator lizards are found in Sunderbans.
Waterways: Approximate time taken between various points are :
1. From Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project (2.5 hours) Sagar Island (2.5 hours) Jambudwip (3.5 hours)
2. From Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali (40 minutes) Buridabri (Tiger Project Area) (5 hours) Netidhopari (3.5 hours) Holiday Island (3 hours)
3. From Sonakhali - Gosaba (1 hour)
4. From Raidighi - Kalas (5 hours)
Sunderbans mangrove forest losing CO2 absorption capacity
A new study August 4 has claimed that the mangrove forest spread over acres in the Sunderbans is fast losing its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide.
The study said that the forest is losing this ability due to rise in the salinity of water, rampant deforestation and pollution.
Sundarbans' mangrove forest, marsh grass, phytoplanktons, molluscus and other coastal vegetation are the natural absorbers of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The stored carbon in the plants is known as "Blue Carbons". The absorption of CO2 helps in reducing the global warming and prevents the
planet from several ill effects of climate change.
The research study, "Blue Carbon Estimation in Coastal Zone of Eastern
India - Sunderbans", was financed by the Union government and headed by noted marine scientist Abhijit Mitra.
Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarban Tiger Reserve
A group of spotted deer.