Chunati Wildlife Sanctury is a mike site in Bangladesh. It has been established for the protection of Asian elephants. It is enriched with a good amount of flora and fauna. No commercial forestry is allowed inside Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary. This is exceptional and rare kind of ecosystem in Bangladesh.
Location of Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is located about 60 kilometers south of Chittagong city. It is within Lohagara and Banskhali upazilla of Chittagong district. You will find it on the west side of the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway. The geographical position of Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary is 210 40©North latitude and 920 07©East longitude.
History of Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary was officially established in 1986 through a Gazette Notification. It was declared as Mike site in 2003. Since then the sanctuary has been an important project of Ministry of Environment and Forests. IUCN, Bangladesh conducted a survey in 2003. They estimated 200-300 elephants here. Dey conducted another survey in the same year. He estimated 300-420 elephants including 70-80 migratory elephants.
Area of Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary covers 7764 hectares area. The whole area divided into 7 blocks of reserved forest. These are:
The population size of the elephant in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary varies. It is mainly from 15-20. These elephants are both resident and non-resident. A group of elephants migrate from neighboring forest of Bandarban. It is temporary migration. It happens from December to April and from October to November. The group size of elephants may be 5 or 7.
Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary zones
The sanctuary is divided into 6 zones. This kind of division is necessary for wildlife management. These are:
>Elephant movement corridors
>Habitat management zone
>External buffer zone
>Assisted production area
>Ecosystem management zone
>Sustainable use zone
Activities to Do in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
Observing wildlife management
Water and River system in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is enriched with numerous creeks. These are great sources of clean water to the people and wild animals. All these creeks also provide a good drainage to the area.
Topography and Land Form in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
The whole area is generally hilly to mountainous. The area is featured with shallow to deep gullies and gentle to steep slopes. Some areas are blocked by ridges which are connected to the hills. There are some narrow valleys which are winding around the hills.
Related: Ratargul swamp forest in Sylhet
Floral Attributes in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary contains about 107 vascular plant species of 96 genera and 71 families. The researchers become happy seeing different kinds of trees, shrubs, palms (erect and climbing), vines/climbers, grasses and herbs in Chunati.
Faunal Attributes in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary enriched with high faunal diversity. It contains about 83 faunal species of 70 genera and 48 families. You will find various types of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians here.
Things to consider in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary during visiting
>Avoid the habit of throwing the litter or any other things on to the ground
>You should not making noise which can disturb the wildlife.
>Agitating wildlife is totally unacceptable here.
>Tearing or collecting any parts of plants must be avoided.
>Avoid walking alone. Try to form a group to visit the sanctuary.
>Be aware of touching Chai lata (a kind of climbers in bamboo sheaths). It will cause you serious itching.
Related: Gazipur Bangabandhu safari park
Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Bangladesh. It has great importance in terms of research activity. It has been getting positive attention for animal abundance, movement patterns and management. When you are in Chittagong as a tourist, try to visit this sanctuary if possible.