Bangladesh is widely known for its forest resources and wildlife. It is home to around 53 species of amphibian, 19 species of marine reptiles, 139 species of reptile, 380 species of birds, 116 species of mammals and 5 species of marine mammals.
The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is in Bangladesh and is home to a vast array of animals including the famous Royal Bengal tiger. Bangladesh also has forest reserves in greater Sylhet regions and in Chittagong Hill-tracts.
Over the time, expansion of human civilization has caused deforestation and loss of habitat to many species, owing to which they have either become extinct or are on the verge of extinction. Poaching is another cause of drastic extinction of various species from this region.
According to Dr. Monirul H Khan, Associate Professor of Department of Zoology at Jahangirnagar University, 13 species of animals have already become extinct from Bangladesh and several others have also possibly become extinct.
Did you know Bangladesh was once home to three species of asiatic rhinoceros? Yes, Indian rhinoceros, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Javan rhinoceros were once found in Bangladesh.
Indian rhinos were seen in greater Chittagong and Mymensingh regions until the end of 19th century when they were last sighted.
Javan rhinos were found in the Sundarbans until 1908, while Sumatran rhinos were found in greater Sylhet and Chittagong regions until the 1880s.
Marsh crocodiles were once widely distributed in the rivers across Bangladesh. Water pollution, habitat loss and activities such as fishing have caused this reptilian species to become extinct.
Marsh crocodiles were last sighted during the 1950s.