Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary
Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar.
Originally designated as Teknaf game reserve in 1983, in December 2009 the Government of Bangladesh enhanced its status to a Wildlife Sanctuary protecting 11,615 hectares. It is located in Teknaf Upazila of Cox’s Bazar District, and comprises a range of steep hills aligned north-south and bordered by the Bay of Bengal to the west and a narrow strip of lowlands and settlements along the Naf river to the south and east, and Inani reserve forest to the north. Once this sanctuary held extensive tropical mixed evergreen forest, patches still remain but much of the original forest has been cleared or degraded since the 1990s. Coastal communities and ecosystems here are vulnerable to cyclones and tidal surges. The hilly terrain of Teknaf range faces a number of climate related hazards. In particular heavy rainstorms and localized flash floods and landslides in the wet season destroy crops, infrastructure and damage habitats. Also more intense dry seasons result in ponds and waterways drying up and local people face a shortage of fresh drinking water. Restoring a sustainable forest ecosystem to significant areas of the Teknaf watershed hills is vital to improve water and soil retention, and enhance the resilience of wildlife and local communities to the threats posed by degradation and climate change.
Despite degradation, Teknaf WS is still home to a small population of endangered Asian Elephants which comes into regular conflict with local people, Teknaf CMC is working with others to change attitudes and conserve elephants in a coordinated way. The fauna of the WS has been only partially studied, but the wider Teknaf peninsula is home to a diverse fauna: some 260 species of birds including the impressive and globally vulnerable Great Slaty Woodpecker and Grey Peacock Pheasant, and mammals such as Rhesus Macaque and Hog Badger, and is home to the last population of Long-tailed Macaque in Bangladesh. Of special note within the WS is Teknaf Nature Park, this easily accessed area has shady forest, three small lakes, three hiking trails, an interpretation center, and accommodation for visitors.
Teknaf CMC’s target area is the most southerly corner of mainland Bangladesh, bordered by the Naf Estuary and Bay of Bengal, with Whykong Range of Teknaf WS to the north. Here several ethnic communities live including people of Burmese heritage. Teknaf range is bordered by 48 villages where most of the people depend directly or indirectly on the forest. Activities impacting on the protected area include wood cutting (mostly for fuel), cultivation (rice and betel leaves and nuts), extracting earth from hills, fires, sun grass collection and salt production.
WHY IS TEKNAF WILDLIFE SANCTUARY IMPORTANT?
Home to globally endangered Asian Elephant and vulnerable Pigtailed Macaque
High species diversity: 13 amphibian species, 56 reptile species, 55 mammal species, and 260 bird species.
Restoring forest here offers the scope to double carbon sequester 157 tons of CO2 per hectare for climate change mitigation
Local people, including Kuti, Marma and Chakma ethnic communities, are poor and depend on forest resources, threatening the biodiversity and ecology
Tourism attractions include the Teknaf Nature Park, a Second World War bunker, ethnic handloom products, patches of mangroves and the Teknaf sea beach
CO-MANAGEMENT HELPS PROTECT CRITICAL FOREST HABITATS IMPORTANT FOR A WIDE RANGE OF CREATURES AND PLANTS, INCLUDING GLOBALLY THREATENED SPECIES …
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Also known as Long-tailed Macaque, this slim gray monkey is distinguished from other macaques by its long tail. Although common in parts of South-east Asia, it is at the northern edge of its range in the Teknaf peninsula where a small population has declined to the verge of extinction. Considered critically endangered within Bangladesh, the last three animals depend on fruits, seeds, and crabs from forest including mangroves protected by Teknaf CMC.
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This globally endangered species was once widespread in Bangladesh. It is now restricted to a few Protected Areas in the south-east. A small, but important, population moves within and between sites. Teknaf CMC is working with ten other CMCs and the Forest Department to protect elephants and their habitat, restore connecting corridors used in their migrations, and minimize conflicts with local people.
Sustaining Nature, Biodiversity, and Local Communities
Teknaf Co-Management Committee engages with local communities to conserve the Teknaf Range of Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent areas, and their threatened species, including Bangladesh’s last elephants, through climate-resilient natural resources management and diversified livelihoods.
Co-Management in Teknaf was established on 6 August 2006 and is recognized
through a Ministry of Environment and Forests order published in November 2009. Teknaf CMC formally works with and includes Bangladesh Forest Department as well as all key local stakeholders including local government and of course representatives of the surrounding 48 villages who are organized into a common forum. We are responsible for managing Teknaf Nature Park, from which we receive half of entry fees, and protect 6,628 hectares within Teknaf WS, in coordination with Whykong and Shilkhali CMCs (responsible for the remainder of the WS). For forest protection we formed the first women-only community patrol group in Bangladesh, and the president of this group, Mrs. Khurshida Begum, received the international Wangiri Mathai Award for Nature Conservation on 27 September 2012 in Italy.
TEKNAF CO-MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (CMC)
- Ensure long-term conservation of biodiversity
- Mobilize local people including youth as environmental stewards and stakeholders
- Assist natural resource users to enhance and diversify their livelihoods, reduce extraction from forests, and reduce vulnerability to hazards and climate change
- Encourage eco-tourism, and provide adequate facilities for visitors
- Provide a forum for discussions,consultations, and conflict resolution
How You Can Help ?
Please support our efforts to strengthen conservation. The work of Teknaf CMC and associated organizations involves local communities working with Bangladesh Forest Department, and local government. These activities depend on support from grants and outside resources.
Teknaf CMC has a bank account (Teknaf Sahababostapana Committee, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Teknaf Branch, Teknaf) and can receive grants from domestic sources. For international assistance, funds can be channeled
through Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) a national NGO which has helped establish the CMC.NACOM is register with Bangladesh NGO Affairs Bureau No 481. NACOM focuses on environment, climate change issues, development of grassroots people and nature protection.
Your donations to Teknaf CMC will support:
- Improving protection of forest, and their threatened species, through community patrols
- Creating awareness among the local people and increasing alternative income source.
- Promoting eco-tourism (e.g. establishing and maintaining visitor facilities and publicizing Teknaf CWS)
- Increasing community sustainability (e.g. reducing disaster vulnerability and improving services)
- Sustainability of co-management movement.
Old forest rest house
Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar
Tel: 01720 356 184
DFO, Cox’s Bazar South Forest Division, Bon Bhaban, Cox’s Bazar
Old forest rest house
Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar
Tel: 01732 929 259
Dr. Abdur Rob Mollah
House No. 20-21, Flat D2 & C5, Road No. 12, Block F,
Niketan, Gulshan 1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
Tel: 02-8832073, 02-8832103