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Chapter: Biology: Natural Diversities of Bangladesh-Distribution of Plants and Animals

Saint Martin's Island

Geologically Saint Martin's Island is a continental island. But many people take this island as a coral island as some corals are found to grow there.

Saint Martin's Island:


Geologically Saint Martin's Island is a continental island. But many people take this island as a coral island as some corals are found to grow there. It is located about 12 kilometers off in the Bay from the main land of Teknaf. The island is about 5 kilometers in length and 600 meters in breadth at certain places and 100 to 200 meters at some places. There are some small island nearby the island, which are called by the local people as 'Seradia' or separate islands. The northern part of the island is wider and known as Zinzira. There are inhabitants. In the south there is no inhabitants but there is mangrove forest. In Zinzira, there is a fresh water lowland.

Environmental Characteristics: Calcium enriched soil, moderate rainfall,and moderate temperature is the main environmental features. Saline water enters in the mangrove forest at the time of high tides and recedes at low tides.


Plants: In the sandy shore of the island Jhau(Casuarina),Nishind(Vitisnigunda), Bhat, Nata, Chhagalkhurilata are found to grow. They are the plantsof sandy heaps. Around the island there are large varieties of screw pine (Pandanus). There are aquatic plants in the marshlands of Zinzira. There is asmall mangrove forest in the south, but there is no Sundari tree. Crepa, Khalshi Shoilkanta, Hargoja etc. are found to grow here. Among the planted plants mango, jackfruit, Peyara, betel nut, pomelo (Jambura), plum (Kul) and at abundance of coconut are prominent. Around the homestead Chalta, Koroi Ipomia, Udal, fig etc. are found to grow. In the island usually Paddy Coriander,Onion, Chili, Garlic, Sweet potato etc. are cultivated. There are various brown and red alga growing on corals and stones. At presen afforestation process is going on in this island.


Main Animals: Large marine turtles are found in the island. They come onthe land for laying eggs. They lay many eggs at a time. Besides, in the lowlying area of the southern part there are innumerable red crabs and abundant of marine birds. Around the island there are various kinds of marine fishes in the sea. Several corals, different species of marine snails, bivalves and poisonous snakes are present around the island.


The inhabitants of this island usually live on fishing. Population is increasing very rapidly in the northern part of the island. Children collect and sell stone and corals of sandy beach to the tourists. As a result soil is eroding from the entire coastal area. Thus hampering the environment of the island.


Importance of Forest Regions for the Conservation of Environment and maintaining the Ecological Balance: 

Plants, animals, water, light, air.temperature and soil etc. are the components of Natural Environment. These Factors collectively form the natural environment of a particular region. From the beginning the Almighty Creator has established a balance in these elements. Any single notable change in any element of nature of any particular area affects the established balance among the total elements. Ultimately it causes adverse reaction on environment as a whole. As a result. the natural environment is destroyed and gradually it becomes inhabitable. The flora, particularly the forest of a region or of a country plays a direct role in maintaining the natural environment and protecting a balance because the plants are the Primary Producer.For example, if there is no plant in any water reservoir (or marshy land), then no fish will survive there and in absence of fish, the fish dependent cranes, other birds and snakes will not be able to live there. If the forests of an area are destroyed, the water holding capacity of soil will be decreased rainfall will be less, degradation of land will increase, rivers will be silted up, and in rainy season the area will be flooded easily. And due to the lowering of the water level in the dry season draught will appear. The yield of crops will decrease and deficiency will increase. Again all the inhabiting animals, birds, frogs, snakes will perish or they will come to the cropland or locality in search of food. If the number of plant is decreased the amount of CO2 will increase in the atmosphere and the natural balance will be destroyed. So for leading a normal healthy life for ourselves and our next generation we shall have to give adequate protection to our present forest resources and raise more and more forests and fruit trees to increase the plant resources according to the additional demand of the growing population.


Conservation of endangered plants and animals: The land area is limitedon the earth but population is increasing. New houses are being made for this additional population to live. Schools and colleges are being built for the education of their children, hospitals for treatment; new roads are being made for their movement. More cultivable land are being procured for producing additional food for them. For all these reasons forest land are being destroyed every moment. It is learnt from different survey report that at present in average 50 acres of forestland are being destroyed in every minute. Due to destruction of forest areas, many plant and animal species dependent on them have already been perished and many more species are on the way to be extinct. The endangered plants and animals are inseparable components of the environment. So to save the environmental balance they must be protected from the extinction, so that we can get valuable life saving medicine and valuable gene for the development of the crops. By this time many plants and animals ar going to be perished. They must be protected from extinction. The endagered plants are Ashwagandha, Latakasturi, wild onion, and Montesia etc. and among the endagered animals are Ghorial, Green tortoise, Python, King cobra, hilly Moyena and stripped tiger. In order to save them the natural environment, where they grow, is to be conserved as it was before. The destruction of forest area must be stopped totally. No uncontrolled procurement of plant from nature will be allowed. The use of insecticides, fungicides or weedicides should be minimized as much as possible.

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