Classification of Forests in Rajasthan

Classification of Forests in Rajasthan

According to Indian State of Forest Report 2021 – Rajasthan, the forests of Rajasthan cover approximately an area of 32,863 sq km which is 9.60% of the total geographical area of the state. However, this forest area is classified into different types based on utility, agency & defintion used.

Classification of Forests in Rajasthan

The forests of Rajasthan can be mainly classified based on the following nomenclature:

Broad Classification of Forests of Rajasthan

The forests of Rajasthan can be divided into four broad forest types.

  • Tropical Thorn Forests,
  • Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests,
  • Bamboo-Forests
  • Central India Sub-tropical hill forests.
  • Mixed Miscellaneous Forests

Tropical Thorn Forests of Rajasthan

  • Tropical thorn forests are found in arid and semi-arid regions of western Rajasthan, namely Jodhpur, Pali, Jalore, Barmer, Nagaur, Churu, Bikaner etc.
  • These extend from western Indo -Park border and gradually merge with the dry deciduous mixed forests of the Aravalli hills and the south-eastern plateau.
  • The main species found in this kind of forests are Acacia nilotica , Acacia leucophloea, Prosopis cineraria, Capparis aphylla, Zizyphus spp., Flacourtia spp. etc.

Tropical Dry Deciduous (Dhol) Forests

  • These forests are mostly found in small patches in few parts of the state. the northern and eastern slopes of aravalli ranges, mostly in Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts, are covered with this type of forests.
  • Sporadic growth of certain species of dry deciduous forests is found along the dry river beds of Jalore, Nagaur, Ganaganagar and Bikaner, districts.
  • The main species found in this kind of forests are Babul

Bamboo Forests

  • Bamboo covers about 2.5% of the area occurring mostly in Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Kota & Abu hills.

Central Indian Sub – tropical Hill Forests

  • These forests which are most abundant in central India, as in Madhya Pradesh, parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, are found in Sirohi district of Rajasthan also, mostly on the hills girding Mt. Abu.
  • These forests have semi-evergreen and some evergreen species of trees.
  • The vegetation of Mt. Abu consists of many plants which are similar to the sub – tropical region of Himalayas. Around Mt. Abu, they are well represented between 700 to 800 m altitudes.

Mixed Miscellaneous Forests

  • These forests are mostly found in south-eastern and eastern part of Rajasthan including Chittorgarh, Kota, Udaipur, Sirohi, Banswara, Dungarpur, Baran and Jhalawar distrists.
  • Average rainfall in these forest is more than 60cm and cover approximately 20% of the forest cover.
  • These Forests mainly have Anogeissus pendula, Anogeissus latifolia, Terminalia tomentosa, Terminalia arjuna , Terminalia chebula, Albizia lebbeck, Dalbergia paniculata etc. and its associates.

Administrative Classification of Forests

As per Forest Survey of India – State of Forest report 2021 (ISFR 2021 ), Rajasthan has Recorded Forest Area (RFA) of about 32,863 square kms. This forest area forms 9.60% of state’s geographical area and abxout 4.23% of India’s forest area.

TypeRecorded Forest Area (RFA) in Sq. KmsPercentage
Reserved Forest12,17637.0 % of RFA
Protected Forest18,54356.4 % of RFA
Unclassed Forest2,1446.5 % of RFA
Total RFA32,8639.60 % of GA
Total Geographical Area (GA)3,42,239

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 12,176 sq kms or 37% 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 18,543 sq kms or 56.4% of forest area under Protected Forests.

Unclassed Forest:

  • The unclassed forests are those in which there is no restriction on the cutting of trees and grazing of cattle.
  • Rajasthan has 2144 sq kms or 6.5% of area has Unclassed forests.

ISFR 2021 – Classification

According to ISFR 2021, the Forest Cover in the State is 16,654.96 square kms, which is about 4.87% of State’s Geographical Area.  In terms of forest canopy density classes, the State has:

ClassArea is Sq KmsPercentage of GA
Very Dense Forest (VDF)78.150.02 %
Moderately Dense Forest (MDF)4,368.651.28%
Open Forest (OF)12,208.163.57%
Total16,654.964.87%
Scrub4,808.511.41%

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 78.15 Sq kms of very dense forests.
  • Percentage VDF: 0.02% of Geographical Area

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 4368.65 Sq kms of moderately dense forests.
  • Percentage MDF: 1.28% of Geographical Area

Open Forests (OF):

  • The Lands with forest cover having canopy density of 10-40% are called Open Forests.
  • In Rajasthan, there are only 12,208.51 Sq kms of open forests.
  • Percentage OF: 3.57% of Geographical Area

 Scrubs:

  • The degraded forest lands which have a Canopy density of less than 10% are called Scrubs.
  • In Rajasthan, there are about 4808.04 Sq kms of scrubs.
  • Percentage Scrubs: 1.41% of Geographical Area

Non-Forest Area:

  • Rest of the area, included all other lands except forest area.

Classification based on Champion Seth

As per the Champion & Seth Classification of Forest Types (1968), the forests in Rajasthan belong to two Type groups:

  • Tropical Dry Deciduous
  • Tropical Thorn Forests

These two groups are further divided into 20 Forest Types as follows:

S.No.Forest TypeArea% of the total
mapped area
1.5A/C1a Very dry teak forest1,052.534.92
2.5A/C1b Dry teak forest45.030.22
3.5B/C2 Northern dry mixed deciduous forest8,294.3438.78
4.5/DS1 Dry deciduous scrub2,335.1310.92
5.5/DS2 Dry savannah forest2.870.01
6.5/E1 Anogeissus pendula forest3,162.2714.78
7.5/E1/DS1 Anogeissus pendula scrub523.552.45
8.5/E2 Boswellia forest151.040.71
9.5/E5 Butea forest54.340.25
10.5/E6 Aegle forest1.690.01
11.5/E8a Phoenix savannah2.030.01
12.5/1S1 Dry tropical riverain forest49.860.23
13.5/152 Khair-sissu forest304.351.42
14.6B/C1 Desert thorn forest813.433.80
15.6B/C2 Ravine thorn forest329.481.54
16.6B/DS1 Ziziphus scrub164.310.77
17.6B/DS2 Tropical Euphorbia scrub2.920.01
18.6/E1 Euphorbia scrub133.470.62
19.6/E2 Acacia senegal forest46.440.22
20.6/1S1 Desert dune scrub969.524.53
Sub Total18,438.6086.20
21.TOF/Plantation2,950.9513.80
Total (Forest Cover & Scrub)21,389.55100.00
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