So the tourists coming to see deer from the country and abroad are turning away. But with the planned initiative, it is possible to earn a lot of foreign currency.
In the 80’s, the forest department afforded forests here. Then, in 1985 the government released two pairs of deer on the island. Later, it increased to 30,000. In 2001, the government declared Nijhum Island as the ‘National Park’ and the ‘Deer’s Sanctuary’.
Due to deforestation, this number has dropped to just 10,00. Also in the night, the hunters are trafficking deer by hunting. Besides, dogs and foxes are attacking and killing deer frequently. Due to lack of embankment around the Island, the deer’s water and food crisis arose in the forest. As a result, some time deer comes to the populous area to save lives and being caught by the people.
Because of food and habitation crisis, the deer of the area are leaving Nijhum Island and going to other Islands nearby. Tourists are losing interest due to decreasing trees and deer on the island.
On the other hand, DC has taken several steps for the development of Nijhum Island. Strong attempts are being made to create an accepted tourist center. In the year 2017, the government announced the Nijhum Island as the brand for the district. It is named ‘Noakhali Country of Nijhum Island’.
Nijhum Island UP chairman Mehraj Uddin said, “Not having boundary walls around Nijhum Island, due to various food shortages, 30,000 deer reduced to 8-10,000. Many times the deer are trafficked. Besides, each small or medium deer’s price is Tk 25-30,000. As a result, many local residents are involved in hunting and trafficking of deer. Deer decreasing is causing tourists decreasing.”
Noakhali divisional forest officer Tahidul Islam said, “People are depleting forests. It’s creating a problem of deer roaming. Due to the food crisis and many other reasons, the deer leaving the Nijhum Island and going to the adjoining forests. Local forest department’s bit officers have been instructed to be careful about this.”
Noakhali-6 (Hatia) constituency MP Ayesha Ferdous said, “Nijhum Island is a resource of the country. The deer must be saved in returning tourists. Deforestation of Nijhum Island should be stopped at any cost. Legal action will be taken against those who are involved in the destruction of the Nijhum Island and its deer.”