Nature and Life – Episode 135 (Biodiversity of Nijhum Dweep)

Non-stop flow of alluvium has made number of islands to emerge on the bosom of the Bay-of-Bengal.
These islands have been protecting our country from natural catastrophes and also nurturing our biodiversity for ages.
Among these islands, Nijhum Dweep (Island) is a uniquely stunning and biodiversity enriched island.
About 16,000 hectare this island is sited at the estuary of river Meghna of Noakhali district.
The ecosystem of Nijhum Dweep, with its diverse plants, wildlife, birds and fishes, is an inseparable part of the natural resource of Bangladesh.
The ecosystem of this island has been formed with a number of Chars and quiet solitude.
And so the island is called Nijhum Dweep (Silent Island), which once used to be known as ‘Char Usman’.
Some parts of the island always remain wet because of the intrusion of salt water into the island through various small channels.
A number of flow and ebb tide adaptable plants species are found here.
But Keora (Sonneratia apetala) trees are found throughout the island.
Along with this, some Baen (Avicennia Officinalis), Horgoja (Acanthus ilicifolius) etc. are also found.
Branches of Keora (Sonneratia apetala) come down near to the earth.
For massive spread of Keora trees, this island is home to large number of spotted deer.
A kind of sharp grasses spread majority of the island area.
They look like green carpet from far.
And herd of spotted deer walk on this green carpet.
Most of the time they roam in group.
Though they roam in forests but they sometimes come to wetlands to drink water.
A lot of sea snakes can be seen in Nijhum Dweep (Island).
These snakes usually don’t bite.
They feed on fishes and small aquatic organisms.
They can be seen wandering in muddy earth of the island.
The southern side of the island is comparatively more misty and muddy.
For this misty soil is rich with foodstuff, the island remain resonant with various birds throughout the year.
But it becomes heaven of birds in winter due to thousands of migratory birds.
This island remain resonant with calls of Curlew, Godwit, Plover, Sandpiper, Wagtail, Gull, Northern Shoveler, Common Shelduck, Shelduck, Tern, Eurasian Wigeon etc.
Common Sandpiper is well-known among small birds of our country.
They are often seen to wander in Nijhum Dweep.
Long curved billed Curlew also roam in here.
They feed on by popping in their long bill into the muddy soil.
Sometimes they join flocks of other birds to look for feeding.
Gulls wander in the blue water of the island throughout the time.
Flocks of Gulls resting on the shore of the island look magnificent.
Reddish colored Shell Ducks are the regular migratory bird of this island.
Flocks of them roam in salty water of the island for feeding.
When finished with feeding, they take rest on the shore.
The island become lively with their reddish radiance.
Various other species of colorful migratory ducks can be seen with them in the island.
The island’s ecosystem become charming with the touch of these birds.
Nijhum Dweep remains lively throughout the winter.
The worldwide critically endangered Indian Skimmers are a unique attraction of this island.
Flocks of Them can be seen flying on Muktaria Channel, located in the middle of Nijhum Dweep and Domar Char.
Herons, Cormorants, Ibises etc. aquatic birds are also seen in this island.
They wander in the lagoon of the island to look for feeding.
Wagtails roam on the small grasses of the shore.
These bird species are also playing vital role in the ecosystem of the island.
Due to adverse impacts of climate change, caused by — excessive yielding of fish; oil secretion from ships; irresponsible tourism; deforestation and industrial waste disposal, are pushing the very existence of this island to threat.
If it continues like this, maybe, this island won’t be no more in the map of Bangladesh.
And its biodiversity will also become nonexistent.
Accordingly, we all have to come forward to conserve this island by fighting the causes behind climate change.

Planner, Director and Anchor: Muqeed Majumdar Babu.
Research & Script: Mushfiq Ahmed, Shamim Ahmed.
Subtitle: A M M Khairul Anam (Mithu).
Voiceover: Khairul Ahasun Shohag.
Video Editor: Arif Baharder.
Coordinator: Kibria Saroar Roman.
Cameraman: Billal Howlader.
Panel Producer: Sohel Mazumder.
Website: www.pojf.org

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