constitutes 44% of the forest cover in the country 3 In the last part of the 20th century, mangrove forests of many countries of the world have been reduced, and the current estimate of the world's stock is less than half of what it had once been 7 and the area that remains has been significantly degraded by increased salinity and pollution 8 , 9 About 35% of mangroves were lost from 1980 to 2000 worldwide 10 and this loss is occurring at a faster rate than that of inland tropical forests and coral reefs 11 Based on satellite data, it has been concluded that the remaining area is less than previously thought and is 12.3% smaller than the most recent estimate 12 Eight causes have been identified 6 , such as: (i) conversion to agriculture, shrimp farms, development, and human settlement; (ii) over-harvesting by grazing, browsing and lopping, and fishing; (iii) pollution; (iv) decline in freshwater availability; (v) flooding; (vi) reduction of silt deposition; (vii) coastal erosion and (viii) disturbances from tropical cyclones and tsunamis. The wall-to-wall >50% tree cover extent stratum for the year 2000 provides an overview of tree canopy cover distribution within the country (figure 3 ). The large patches of natural forests remaining within Bangladesh include the Sundarbans mangroves and Chittagong Hill Tracts forests. Vegetation of the BSMF: A total of 70 species from 34 families of the entire Sundarbans has been reported 31 From the Bangladesh Sundarbans, 65 species (large trees 10, small trees 20, shrubs 25 and herbs 10 including two ferns) of 37 families have been reported 32 ( Table 2 ). Recently, a total of 115 species have been recorded, where, in addition to more than 10 large trees, seven more (Avicennia marina, Bruguiera parviflora, B. sexangula, Ceriops candellana, C. roxburghiana, C. tagal, Rhizophora apiculata) are added including 10 species of sedges, five species of grasses, and many species from other groups 3 The listed plants need a thorough check to identify true mangroves. The photographs in The Bangladesh Sundarbans represent some of these changes 1 : a small creek on page 24 with a number of fallen trees along the banks; sediment deposition on riversides on pages 23 and 36. The forest area of 443 km2 was reduced to 427 km2, a total loss of 16 km2 which is 3.61% over 20 years ( Table 1 ) 29 If the percentage of small rivers and creek formation are considered for other parts of the BSMF in addition to large rivers, and assuming that the area plus higher erosion near the coast constitute about 33% (about 2000 km2), then the estimated total forestland loss would be about 127 km2.