Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma (Myanmar) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means 'Country of Bengal' in the official Bengali language.
The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became the eastern wing of the newly-formed Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) across India. Political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect led to popular agitations against West Pakistan, which led to the war for independence in 1971 and the establishment of Bangladesh, with the help of India. However, the new state had to endure famines, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative stability and economic progress.
Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries in the world and has a high poverty rate. However, per-capita (inflation-adjusted) GDP has more than doubled since 1975, and the poverty rate has fallen by 20% since the early 1990s. Dhaka and other urban centers have been the driving force behind this growth. Geographically, the country straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones.
Bangladesh is located in the low-lying Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. This delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pôdda), Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal. The alluvial soil deposited by these rivers has created some of the most fertile plains in the world. Bangladesh has 58 trans-boundary rivers, making water issues politically complicated to resolve - in most cases as the lower riparian state to India.
Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 metres (39 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 50% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by a metre (3 ft).
The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 metres (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country.
A major part of the coastline comprises a marshy jungle, the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger. In 1997, this region was declared endangered.
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, a hot, humid summer from March to June. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country's rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. Cox's Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that stretches uninterrupted over 120 kilometres (75 mi).
In September 1998, Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding in modern world history. As the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of road and 1,600 miles (2,600 km) of embankment 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless with 135,000 cattle killed, 50 square kilometres of land destroyed and 11,000 kilometres of roads damaged or destroyed. Two-thirds of the country was underwater. There were several reasons for the severity of the flooding. Firstly, there were unusually high monsoon rains. Secondly, the Himalayas shed off an equally unusually high amount of melt water that year. Trees that usually intercept rain water were cut down for firewood or to make space for animals!
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Number of Species
Number of bird species: 686
National Bird: Oriental Magpie Robin (aka Doyel) Dopsychus saularis
Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder
* Field Guides & Bird Song
For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Asia as a whole - please see the Asia page of Fatbirder
A Field Guide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent
Krys Kazmierczak, Ber van Perlo (Illustrator) Hardcover - 336 pages (30 May, 2000) The Pica Press
ISBN: 1873403798Buy this book from NHBS.com
A Photographic Guide to Birds of India
[Including Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Bhutan] Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister 512 pages, 850 col photos, 800 maps. Christopher Helm
ISBN: 0713664037Buy this book from NHBS.com
Oriental Magpie Robin - Copsychus saularis
Guides & Tour Operators
Bengal Tours Ltd
The Bengal Tours Ltd, is an upcoming tour operator and travel agency in the private sector located in Dhaka. We are a group of tourism professionals, who constitute the ‘The Bengal Tours Ltd’ and committed to extend our best assistance to our clients, coming from all over the world and from the local market. The Bengal Tours Ltd, was launched in eptember,1999 ;but within this short span of time, our Company earned remarkable momentum by way of providing various services to our clients. It may kindly be noted that we are mainly acting as tour operator and ground handling agent and our expertise in conducting various tour programmes at unbeatable rates has already earned us a very good reputation with our clients both at home and abroad…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2012 [12 December] - Simon Carter
…Between the 13th Nov and 19th Dec 2012, I travelled independently throughout Bangladesh, taking in many of the major birdwatching areas. These areas were the wetlands and forests in the north-east, Hatiya Island, Sonardia Island, Teknaf and the Sunderbans in the south. Spoon-billed Sandpiper was an obvious target bird….
Bangladesh Bird Club
Bangladesh bird club is an organization of people interested in the bird and its conservation in Bangladesh. It promotes the hobby of bird-watching, study of bird and conservation of wildlife and its habitats in Bangladesh. Through publications and promotional activities it seeks to raise public awareness on conservation issues in general, and bird conservation in particular…
Sundarbans National Park
Where the land meets the sea at the southern tip of West Bengal lies the Indian Sunderbans, a stretch of impenetrable mangrove forest of great size and bio-diversity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sunderbans is a vast area covering 4264 square km in India alone. The Indian Sunderbans forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. A paradise for birdwatchers, the list includes such rarities as the Masked Finfoot, Mangrove Pitta and the Mangrove Whistler…
Bangladesh presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 605,500 hectares…
Bangladesh Sundarbans as Wildlife Habitat
The Sundarbans, the 10,000 km2 mangrove forest on the southern edge of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Menhga delta in India and Bangladesh, is an open, dynamic, heterogeneous ecological system that is resilient to disturbance from within the forest and waterways, but sensitive to disturbance from the outside, particularly to changes in the flow of fresh water…
Bengalbirds is an initiative made by some amateur birders who aims to guide common people to identify local birds, know about different types and helps to understand bird conservation…
Birds of Bangladesh
This group is for the birdwatchers of Bangladesh and also for the interested people .We can share our birdwatching experiences, information and photographs through this birding group….
Birds of Bangladesh
The Doel or the magpie robin is the national bird of Bangladesh. The Shalik is a very common bird in Bangladesh. The Machhhranga or the kingfisher is very common in riverine Bangladesh. As many as ten species can be found. The Kaththokra or the woodpecker can be found in twenty two species in the country, especially in the Sundarbans.
Checklist - Birds of Bangladesh
Nature of Bangladesh
The Birds of Bangladesh