Land and Resources, Plant and Animal Life
Bengal fox, gewa, Sundarbans, sundari, jackfruit
With the exception of the Chittagong Hill Tracts District, portions of the Madhupur Tract, and the Sundarbans, few extensive forests remain in Bangladesh. The forested and wooded area amounts to about one-eighth of the country’s total land area. Broadleaf evergreen species characterize the hilly regions, and deciduous trees, such as acacia and banyan, are common in the drier plains areas. Commercially valuable trees in Bangladesh include sundari (a type of mangrove for which the Sundarbans is probably named), gewa, sal (mainly growing in the Madhupur Tract), and garyan (in the Chittagong Hill Tracts District). Village groves abound in fruit trees (mango and jackfruit, for instance) and date and areca (betel) palms. The country also has many varieties of bamboo.
Bangladesh is rich in fauna, including 109 indigenous species of mammals, 684 types of birds, 119 kinds of reptiles, 19 different amphibians, and 200 varieties of marine and freshwater fish. The rhesus monkey is common, and gibbons and lemurs are also found. The Sundarbans area is one of the principal remaining domains of the endangered Bengal tiger; although the tiger is officially protected, illegal poaching is known to occur. Herds of elephants and many leopards inhabit the Chittagong Hill Tracts District. Other animals living in Bangladesh include mongoose, jackal, Bengal fox, wild boar, parakeet, kingfisher, vulture, and swamp crocodile.
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