Tapestry of Life


About this Image

Stretching across part of southwestern Bangladesh and southeastern India, the Sundarbans is the largest remaining tract of mangrove forest in the world — a vast tapestry of waterways, mudflats and forested islands at the edge of the Bay of Bengal. The low-lying plain is home to the endangered Bengal tiger, sharks, crocodiles and freshwater dolphins, as well as nearly 200 bird species.

This satellite image shows the forest in an area protected by Bangladesh and India. The Sundarbans appears deep green, surrounded to the north by a landscape of agricultural lands (lighter green), towns (tan) and streams (blue). Ponds for shrimp aquaculture, especially in Bangladesh, sit right at the edge of the protected area, a potential problem for the water quality and biodiversity of the area, scientists say.

This image was created by merging Landsat 7 satellite observations from Nov. 24, 1999, and Nov. 17 and 26, 2000.

Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory.


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