Visit the Scenic Lawachara National Park
Located within the West Bhanugach Reserved Forest, around 60 km from Sylhet, the Lawachara National Park consists of lush tropical and subtropical coniferous and broadleaf forests, with hilly sandstone areas and a network of streams and small wetlands. Much of the original indigenous forests were removed in the 1920s, with secondary forest taking its place. There are, however, small areas of primary forest scattered throughout the park. There are also bamboo groves and ferns in the forest undergrowth, all of which support a wide variety of wildlife.
Mammals resident in the Lawachara National Park include the fascinating Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis), a small primate with huge brown eyes, a characteristically round flat head, small ears and dense brown and beige fur. Unfortunately, these cute little creatures are targeted by poachers who sell them illegally as exotic pets. They are also hunted for certain body parts which some cultures believe have medicinal properties. This has resulted in the Bengal slow loris being listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Lawachara is also home to the western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock), one of the top 25 most endangered primates in the world. Their numbers have dwindled drastically in the last decade as humans encroach on their habitat and they are hunted for food and body parts used in traditional medicines.
As the largest of the cat species, the tiger (Panthera tigris) can weigh more than 300 kgs and reach a total body length of up to 3.3m. Tigers are listed as endangered, also primarily due to loss of habitat and illegal poaching. The Bengal tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh. Other mammals found in Lawachara include capped langurs, golden jackals, Asian black bears, tigers, leopards, leopard cats, fishing cats, sambars, barking dear and wild pigs.
Rare indigenous plant species found in Lawachara National Park include Alstonia scholaris, commonly known as the blackboard tree or milkwood pine; Bridelia retusa; Phyllanthus emblica also known as Indian gooseberry; and Cassia fistula also known as the golden shower tree. Visitors to the Lawachara National Park will no doubt appreciate the beauty and biodiversity of this scenic region of Bangladesh.