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| Last Updated:: 15/03/2017

Forest

The forest ecosystem of Karnataka is unique and highly diverse. It forms an important component of the natural resources of the environment. Vegetation types include tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, thorny scrubs, sholas and coastal mangroves. They are a repository of rich biodiversity at the level of gene, species and ecosystem. Different forest ecosystems are the result of the interplay of topographic, climatic and edaphic differences influenced by altitude and the distance from the sea. The Western Ghats forests are a fragile ecosystem that is one of the mega biodiversity hotspots of the world. Several initiatives have been taken towards forest conservation. The continuous efforts in afforestation over several decades have resulted in the increase of forest cover. The growing of trees on private lands in large numbers contributed to the increase in the tree cover outside forests. In spite of these efforts, the tremendous pressure on forests in terms of diversions of land for mining and hydro power besides encroachment, grazing, fire etc. has led to a degradation of the stock, fragmentation of habitats and loss of biodiversity.

Forest Diversity of Karnataka The state of Karnataka is a part of the highly biodiversity rich regions of India. The state is endowed with great diversity of climate, topography and soils. It spans the seacoast with rich aquatic biodiversity and mangrove swamps at the mouths of estuaries. It harbours verdant tropical evergreen forests, paddy fields, and coconut and arecanut orchards on the narrow coast flanked by the hills of Western Ghats. It bears deciduous woods, scrub jungles, fields of sugarcane, cotton, groundnut, ragi and jowar in the Deccan plateau. The different environmental regimes support their own characteristic set of vegetation and animals. Karnataka supports 10% of total tiger population and 25% of elephant population of the country. The state has around 4500 species of flowering plants, 600 species of birds, 160 species of mammals, 160 species of reptiles (turtles, snakes, lizards and crocodiles), 70 species of frogs, and 800 species of fish. These figures give a good account of the floral and faunal diversity of the state. The wealth of diversity of domesticated plants and animals in farms also holds much promise. The hill chain of Western Ghats is known to have greater diversity of wild relatives of cultivated plants than any other region of comparable size in the world. The aquatic biodiversity in Karnataka is very rich and harbours many endemic species.

 

Forest Diversity of Karnataka

The state of Karnataka is a part of the highly biodiversity rich regions of India. The state is endowed with great diversity of climate, topography and soils. It spans the seacoast with rich aquatic biodiversity and mangrove swamps at the mouths of estuaries. It harbours verdant tropical evergreen forests, paddy fields, and coconut and arecanut orchards on the narrow coast flanked by the hills of Western Ghats. It bears deciduous woods, scrub jungles, fields of sugarcane, cotton, groundnut, ragi and jowar in the Deccan plateau. The different environmental regimes support their own characteristic set of vegetation and animals. Karnataka supports 10% of total tiger population and 25% of elephant population of the country. The state has around 4500 species of flowering plants, 600 species of birds, 160 species of mammals, 160 species of reptiles (turtles, snakes, lizards and crocodiles), 70 species of frogs, and 800 species of fish. These figures give a good account of the floral and faunal diversity of the state. The wealth of diversity of domesticated plants and animals in farms also holds much promise. The hill chain of Western Ghats is known to have greater diversity of wild relatives of cultivated plants than any other region of comparable size in the world. The aquatic biodiversity in Karnataka is very rich and harbours many endemic species.

Details of Notified Forests and Deemed Forests of Karnataka

SI. No

Categories of Forests

Total Area (ha.)

I

NOTIFIED FORESTS

 

I A

Reserved Forests

 

1

Declared under Section 17 of KFA

1,762,919.76

2

Section 17 of Myore Forest Regulation

594,778.32

3

Section 20 of IFA

294,493.94

4

Section 16 of Madras FA

258,781.95

5

Section 19 of Hyderabad FA

44,048.40

 

Sub Total

2,955,022.37

I B

Protected Forests/ Minor Forests

 
 

(Section-33 & Section-35 )

-

1

Declared under Section 4 of KFA

178,673.47

2

Protected Forests

169,512.43

3

Devara Kadu

2,956.67

4

Urudve

2,733.80

5

Others- Sandal -Teak reserves etc.,.

4,644.66

 

Sub Total

358,521.03

I C

Village Forests Section-29

4,904.76

I D

Private Forests section – 36

5,406.82

 

Total of Notified Forests

3,323,854.98

II

DEEMED FORESTS

-

II A

District Forests

-

1

Proposed for Sec – 4 of KFA

121,716.01

2

Betta land

7,652.43

3

Bane

79,957.41

4

Jamamalai

4,953.28

5

Forest porampoke

3,981.35

6

Paisari land

44,051.23

7

Kans

20,218.25

8

Kumki

37,703.90

9

Amrith Mahal Kaval

30,112.30

10

Assessed waste Lands

35,850.80

11

Kharab

7,447.26

12

Submerged lands

-

i)

Mangrooves

998.80

ii)

Wet lands

-

iii)

Others

20,795.04

13

River catchment & Sea erosion area

583.14

14

Land classified as Forest/ Jungle in Revenue records

10,393.34

15

Inam land

3,569.62

16

Gomal Lands where the plantations have been raised

41,160.84

17

Thickly wooded areas of revenue department not handed over to KFD

101,184.94

18

C &D land with out any plantation but with KFD

307,859.87

19

Thickly wooded area Noted as Forest in Revenue records and recommended to be taken over by the KFD

16,908.38

20

Thickly wooded lands distributed but not cultivated, not felled any tree

116.31

21

Water bodies

-

 

i) Lakes

-

 

ii) Tanks

3,326.25

22

Plantations

-

i)

Strip

415.80

ii)

Roadside

15,770.01

iii)

Canal Bank

772.90

iv)

Foreshore

10,314.19

v)

School

3,187.53

vii)

Community land.

11,498.04

viii)

Plantations raised by Institutions

2,297.30

ix)

Other plantations

55,265.02

23

Others

11,778.28

 

Total of Deemed Forests

1,011,839.82

 

GRAND TOTAL

4,335,694.80

Types

Karnataka is one such state where it has magnificent forests in the India. From the evergreen forests of Western Ghat to scrub or thorny forests in plain areas.

Evergreen and Semi-evergreen:

An evergreen forest is a forest consisting entirely or mainly of evergreen trees that retain green foliage all year round and Semi-evergreen forests are generally considered as a transitional stage between evergreen and moist deciduous forests. These forests are characterised by ever¬green trees mixed with deciduous having typical features like less dense canopy, grew gariousness, frequent buttressed trunks, thicker and rougher barks, and heavy climbers. Ex: Dipterocarpus indicus, Hopea parivflora,Myristica fauna, Gymnacranthera canarica, Vateria indica etc.

Moist Deciduous:

Temperate deciduous forests are located in the areas that has moderate rainfall and temperature and with cold winters. These are the typical monsoon forests in areas where the amount of annual rainfall ranges between 100 cm and 150 cm with mean annual temperature of 24°C to 27°C, and humidity percentage of 60 to 80. They mostly occur along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, north-eastern part of the Peninsula . teak (Tectona gradis) are commercially the most significant species; occupying the relatively wetter north-eastern parts of the Peninsula. Ex: Terminalia, Largerstroemia, preterocarpus, Xylia, Tectona and Anogeissus etc.

Dry Deciduous Forest:

The tropical deciduous forests shed leaves during December (in Northern Hemisphere) as water becomes scarce. This type is a degraded version of the moist deciduous. It occupies a vast area of the country between moist deciduous (in the east) and tropical thorn (in the west) forests. Ex: Acacias, Hardwikicia, Neem, Pongamia, Somida, Santalam albam, Ficus etc.

Scrub and Thorny Forest:

These forests are confined to areas where the rainfall is very low. Here due to paucity of rainfall the trees are stunted with large patches of coarse grasses. The typical vegetation consists of widely spaced acacias, euphorbias including the typical spiny and thorny varieties and clumps of wild palms (Phoenix Sylvester's) here and there. Ex: Acacia species, Balanites roxburghii, Cordia myxa, Capparis spp., Prosopis spp., Azadirachta indica, Cassia fistula, Diospyros chloroxylon, Carissa carandas, and Phoenix sylvestris etc.

Un-wooded:

These forests are mainly grass lands and waste land.

Source: Karnataka Forest Department