New Sundarbans species can threaten mangrove forest: official

Kolkata, Aug 17 (PTI) A few new species of insects,recently identified in the Sundarbans, could pose a threat tothe mangrove forest there, a senior West Bengal forestdepartment official warned today. Assistant divisional forest officer Balaram Panja saidthat the forest department was in touch with the ZoologicalSurvey of India to study the insects. Panja was speaking on the sidelines of a programmeorganised by the Nature Environment & Wildlife Society, an NGOworking in the Sundarbans. The mangrove ecosystem of the Sundabans is the only lineof natural defense, acting as a bio-shield, against stormsoriginating in the Bay of Bengal and affecting the entirepopulation of southern Bengal, including Kolkata, speakers inthe programme noted. The mangrove ecosystem is the most productive ecosystem inthe world and is justly called the nursery of fish,crustaceans and fin-fishes, they said. It accounts for a rich supply of shrimp prawn and crabs,among others, which provides livelihood for a large section ofpeople. A Sundarbans expert, Tushar Kanjilal, said that there wasa need to raise awareness about the threats that the forestecosystem was facing. PTI PNT MDMRJ

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