General Knowledge : Geography : Natural Vegetation in India

Natural Vegetation in India


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Natural Vegetation in India National Parks and Wild life Sanctuaries

Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests

In areas over 250cm rainfall. In Western Ghats, hilly areas in N.E. India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Trees are rosewood, shisham, ebony, ironwood, etc.

Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests

In areas having rainfall between 100 – 200 cm. In peninsular region and along the foothills of Himalayas in Shivaliks, Bhabhar and Tarai.

The trees of these forests drop their leaves for about 6-8 weeks during the spring and early summer when sufficient moisture isn’t available.

Trees are teak, sal, bamboo, sandalwood, rosewood, etc.

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Thorn Forests

  • In areas having rainfall between 25 and 80cm. In arid regions of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.
  • Trees are palm, acacia, etc.

Hill Forests

  • In hills of S.India and the Himalayas.
  • The type of trees depends upon the height of the mountain : Sal and bamboo below 1000 m; oaks, chestnuts and other fruit trees, and chir forests between 1000 and 2000 m; pine, deodar, silver fern and spruce between 1600 and 3300 m; above 3600 m alpine forests with trees like silver firs, pines, birches, etc. Alpine forests give way to Alpine grasslands and scrubs as we move up further.

Tidal or Mangrove Forests

  • Also known as Littoral or Swamp Forests.
  • Occur along the sea coast and in the estuaries of rivers, especially in Sunderbans and the Andamans.
  • Most important tree is Sundari. It provides hard and durable timber which is used for construction and building purposes as well as for making boats.

Note :

  • According to the National Forest Policy, the minimum desired area which is considered safe for a tropical country like India is about 33%.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under forests followed by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • As per percentage of forest area to total area, first is Andaman and Nicobar Islands, followed by Mizoram, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Nagaland. They are in a very comfortable position as more than half of their area is under forests.
  • Arunachal Pradesh has the highest per capita forest area.
  • In Mangrove forests, West Bengal holds the first position, followed by Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The lowest forest percentage is in Haryana and Punjab, because of the extensive agriculture.

Biosphere Reserves in India

  • The biosphere reserve program was launched by the UNESCO in 1971 under the aegis of its Man and Biosphere (MAB) Program, to provide a global network of protected areas for conserving natural communities.
  • In India, the first biosphere reserve – Nilgiri biosphere reserve – came into being in 1986. So far, 14 biosphere reserves have been set up in the country.
Nilgiri (Western Ghats)Similipal (Orissa)
Nanda Devi (Uttarakhand)Dibru-Daikhowa (Asom)
Nokrek (Meghalaya)Dehong Dabang (Arunachal Pradesh)
Manas (Asom)Panchmarhi (MP)
Sunderbans (West Bengal)Kanchanjunga (Sikkim)
Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu)Agastyamalai (Kerala)
Great Nicobar (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)Achaanak maar-Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh)

Note :

  • Out of these 14, Nilgiri, Sunderbans, Manas and Gulf of Mannar have been recognized on World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO.

Project Tiger

  • It was launched on April 1, 1973 to ensure maintenance of viable population of the tigers in India.
  • There are 29 tiger reserves in the country:

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Name of Tiger ReserveState
KanhaMadhya Pradesh
SunderbansWest Bengal
BuxaWest Bengal
NagariunsagarAndhra Pradesh
NamdaphaArunachal Pradesh
DudhwaUttar Pradesh
Kalakad-MundanthuraiTamil Nadu
PencilMadhya Pradesh
BandhavgarhMadhya Pradesh
PannaMadhya Pradesh
Pakhui-NameriArunachal Pradesh-Asom
Bori, Satpura, PachmariMadhya Pradesh
KatarniaghatUttar Pradesh

Note :

  • Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve in AP is the largest, while Pench in Maharashtra is the smallest. Bandipur in Karnataka was the first ( 1973-74 ), while Kaziranga is the latest ( 2006 ).

Project Elephant

  • It was launched in February 1992, to assist States having wild elephants to ensure long term survival of identified viable populations of elephants in their natural habitat.
  • There are 14 Elephant Reserves in India.

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Natural Vegetation in India – Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests – Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests – Thorn Forests – Hill Forests

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