21 new wildlife mammal species found in Bangladesh

Twenty-one new wildlife mammal species have been found in Bangladesh in the last 15 years, according to new Red List.

The new species spotted in the country are: common pipistrelle bat, Indian round leaf bat, wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat, least leaf-nosed bat, dawn bat, lesser false vampire bat, cook’s mouse, Edward’s rat, Himalayan rat, white-toothed rat, red climbing mouse, yellow-throated marten, particoloured flying squirrel, Himalayan striped squirrel, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin,  Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, pan-tropical spotted dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin,  false-killer whale, sperm whale and Bryde’s whale.

Bengal Tiger: One of the Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh. 

However, the study has also found three new wildlife mammals that no longer exist in Bangladesh: grey wolf, striped hyena and sloth bear.

Among them, sloth bear has not been spotted in the country since the 70s, while grey wolf and striped hyena have not been seen in the past 100 years.

Hoolock Gibbon (Male): One of the Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh. 

“Grey wolf and striped hyena were not included in our ‘Red List’ – the list of species extinct in Bangladesh – when we last updated it in 2000. But now the list has been updated,” said Mostafa Firoz, professor at the zoology department of Jahangirnagar University who led the study.

The survey, “Updating Species Red List of Bangladesh,” was undertaken by the government’s Forest Department and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) late last year. The survey report will be published at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Asian Elephent: One of the Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh. Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain

According to the report, there are a total of 138 different species of wildlife mammals in Bangladesh, 11 of which are now recorded as extinct.

Among the existing mammals, 17 species are categorised as Critically Endangered, 12 are Endangered and 9 are Vulnerable.

Gaur: One of the Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh. 

The Red List estimates the risk of extinction of a certain species in order to help to set conservation plans and priority.

Habitat loss by changing pattern of climate and forest ecosystem as well as human intervention in the forestsare considered as some of the primary reasons for the extinction of these species from the country.

Hoolock Gibbon (Female): One of the Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh. Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain

In 2000, the IUCN published the Red List of Fauna Species in Bangladesh, covering the status of 895 wildlife species under five categories – mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and reptiles.

The 2000 list labelledseveral species, including Gangetic gharial, saltwater crocodile, hoolock gibbon, Phayre’s leaf monkey, ritha fish, pangas fish and baghair fish, as “critically endangered” due to the loss of their habitat and food scarcity.

Phayres Leaf Monkey: One of the Critically Endangered species in Bangladesh. 

The new Red List initiative has included two more categories – butterfly and crustacean (snails, crabs and shrimps), and the number of species has been increased to around 1,700.

Critically endangered species

The species listed as Critically Endangered in Bangladesh are: Bengal tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, Asian elephant, hoolock gibbon, long-tailed macaque, Phayre’s leaf monkey, Asiatic black bear, Malayan sun bear, Indian pangolin, Chinese pangolin, Eurasian otter, smooth-coated otter, gaur, sambar, hog deer and Himalayan striped squirrel.

Among the 28 species of carnivores found in the country, seven are recorded as Critically Endangered.

Endangered species

The species listed as Endangered in Bangladesh are: mainland serow, pig-tailed macaque, common langur, Assamese macaque, capped langur, barking deer, Asiatic wild dog, fishing cat, Indian hare, Bengal slow loris, Oriental small-clawed otter, particoloured flying squirrel.

Vulnerable species

The species listed as Vulnerable in Bangladesh are: Ganges river dolphin, rhesus macaque, Bengal fox, Asian golden cat, hog badger, yellow-throated marten, binturong, masked palm civet and Malayan giant squirrel.

Extinct Mammalian Species of Bangladesh

Scientific Name Local Name Place of occurrence* Tentatively lost since
Hyaena hyaena Striped Hyena Northwestern part of the country 20th Century
Canis lupus Grey Wolf In all abundant tree covered areas Mid-20th Century
Boselaphustragocamelus Nilgai Dinajpur, Rangpur Forests. 1930s
Bosjavanicus Banteng Chittagong & CHT 1940s
Bubalusarnee Water Buffalo Chittagong & CHT 1940s
Dicerorhinussumatrensis Sumatran Rhinoceros North of existing Sundarbans 1930s
Rhinoceros sondaicus Javan Rhinoceros North of existing Sundarbans 1930s
Rhinoceros unicornis Indian Rhinoceros North of existing Sundarbans 1930s
Rucervusduvaucelii Swamp Deer Sundarbans 1950’s
Antilopecervicapra Black buck Northern region End of 19thCentury
Melursusursinus Sloth Bear Chittagong Hill Tracts Beginning of 21st Century

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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