Administrative Classification of Forest of Rajasthan

Forests of Rajasthan

As per Forest Survey of India, State of Forest report 2017, Rajasthan has recorded forest area of about 32,737 square kms. This forest area forms 9.57% of state’s geographical area and about 4.28% of India’s forest area. On the basis of Legal status, the Government has classified this forest area into three types:

  • Reserved Forests12,475 Sq. Kms
  • Protected Forests18,217 Sq. Kms
  • Unclassified Forests2,045 Sq. Kms

Reserved Forest:

  • These forests are under the direct supervision of the government.
  • No public entry is allowed for collection of timber or grazing of cattle.
  • Rajasthan has 12,475 sq kms or 38% of forest as Reserved Forest.

Protected Forest:

  • These forests are looked after by the government, but the local people are allowed to collect fuel-wood/timber and graze their cattle without causing serious damage to the forests.
  • Rajasthan has 18,217 sq kms or 55% of forest area under Protected Forests.

Unclassified Forest:

  • The unclassified forests are those in which there is no restriction on the cutting of trees and grazing of cattle.
  • Rajasthan has 2045 sq kms or 7% of area has Unclassified forests.


The Forest Survey of India (FSI), brings out bi-annual state of forests report. In the report, the FSI classifies forest as:Administrative Classification of Forests

  • Very Dense Forests ( VDF) – 0.02%
  • Moderately Dense Forests (MDF) – 1.29%
  • Open Forests (OF) – 3.41%
  • Scrubs – 1.26%
  • Non-Forest Area- 94.02%

Very Dense Forests (VDF):

  • The Lands with forest cover having a canopy density of 70% and more are called Very Dense Forests (VDF).
  • In Rajasthan, there are only 27 Sq kms of very dense forests.
  • Percentage VDF: 0.02%

Moderately Dense Forests (MDF):

  • The Land with forest cover having a canopy density of 40-70% is called the Moderately Dense Forest (MDF).
  • In Rajasthan, there are only 2341 Sq kms of moderately dense forests.
  • Percentage MDF: 1.29%

Open Forests (OF):

  • The Lands with forest cover having canopy density of 10-40% are called Open Forests.
  • In Rajasthan, there are only 6505 Sq kms of open forests.
  • Percentage OF: 3.41%


  • The degraded forest lands which have a Canopy density of less than 10% are called Scrubs.
  • In Rajasthan, there are about 22286 Sq kms of scrubs.
  • Percentage Scrubs: 1.26%

Non-Forest Area:

  • Rest of the area, included all other lands except forest area.
  • Percentage Non-Forest: 94.02%

The report also identifies, variation of forests with altitude.

Important Terms to understand:

Forest Cover:

  • Forest Cover All lands which are more than 1 hectare in area and with a Canopy density of more than 10% irrespective of the ownership and legal status is called Forest Cover.

Recorded Forest Area:

  • The area recorded as “forests” in the Government records is called Forest Area or Recorded Forest Area.

Canopy and Canopy Density

  • The cover of branches and Foliage formed by the crown of trees is called Canopy.  The percentage area of land covered by the canopy of trees is called Canopy density.