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Forest

Introduction

Karnataka is endowed with some of the magnificent forest areas in the country. The recorded forest area covers approximately 43,356 sq. km, comprising 22% of total geographical area of the state. The forest comprise of several types ranging from fragile mangroves along the coastlines to tropical wet evergreen forests all along the western ghats. 60% of the western ghats are located in Karnataka state. The western ghats region is rich and the highest repositories of floral and faunal bio diversity. Thus, they are recognized among the “bio-diversity hot-spots” of the world.

Western Ghats

The Western Ghats, an ancient chain of hills running from north to south along the western coast of India are perhaps the last hope for some of Asia's densest rain forests. It is considered as the jewel in the crown for the state of Karnataka. The Western Ghats conserve moisture and gift it to the Indian peninsula. It gives birth and sustenance to many east and west flowing rivers of Karnataka. The Western Ghats provides water for irrigation and hydro-electric power. The prosperity of farmers of Karnataka depends on the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats are:

  • One of the biologically richest regions of the world

  • Of the 13,000 species of flowering plants found in India, around 3,500 are found in the Western Ghats. Of these, around 1,500 are unique to the region

  • Wild relatives of many economically valuable plants, like pepper, cardamom, ginger, mango, jackfruit, millets, rice, etc., originate in the Western Ghats

  • The Western Ghats is the 'hotspot' of natural evolution

  • The evergreen forest dominated by trees of Cullenia, Persea, Dipterocarpus, Diospyros, Holigarna and Memcylon found only in the Western Ghats

  • The deciduous forests - dominated by Terminalia, Largerstroemia, Prterocarpus, Xylia, Tectona, and Anogeissus species are some of the most valuable commercial timber on earth

  • The Western Ghats is a valuable source of bamboo/cane

  • It is home of wildlife in the sub-continent. The last remnant habitat of major animals such as the tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, lion tailed macaque etc

  • It is rich in birds, amphibians and reptiles species

Teak, rosewood, sandalwood, hardwoods and softwoods (match and plywood species, bamboo, cane, etc., are found in the Western Ghats.

Orchid species survive in a narrow range of ecological and micro-site conditions. Orchids number over 17,000 wild species worldwide. In India, some 924 species are listed of which 287 species (31%) are endemic. In the Western Ghats 46% of the species are endemic. The "Hotspots" of orchids in Western Ghats of Karnataka are Tadianamol in Kodagu (61 species, 6 endemic) Bababudan in Chikkamagalur (41 species, 18 endemic) and Dandeli in Uttar Kannada district (37 species, 23 endemic).

 

Biodiversity

Karnataka is home for many economically important species like teak, eucalyptus, white cedar and world-famous for sandal and rosewood trees that grow naturally in the forests. The statistics of species existing in Karnataka's biodiversity is as follows:

  • Living species: Around 1.2 lakhs

  • Flowering plants: 4,500 species

  • Birds: 522 species

  • Mammals: 158 species

  • Reptiles: 158 species

  • Amphibians: 121 species

  • Fishes (marine & brackish water): 405 species

  • Fishes (fresh water): 218 species

  • Butterflies: 200 species

  • Medicinal Plants: 1,493 species

{ Information on Birds of Karnataka

{ Information on Fishes of Karnataka

Wildlife population of Karnataka

Animal

Number

1. Bear

2324

2. Bison

8484

3. Deer

25850

4. Elephant

6185

5. Fox

957

6. Panther

817

7. Sambar

4998

8. Tiger

395

9. Wild Bear

15760

Medicinal plants

The Government of Karnataka has formed a society under the name 'The Karnataka State Medicinal Plants Authority', to undertake the issues on the conservation, cultivation and development of medicinal and aromatic plants of Karnataka. According to the study done by the Botanical Survey of India there are 3,924 species belonging to 1,323 genera and 199 families in the forests, of which 1,493 species are of medicinal value belonging to 808 genera and 108 families. Karnataka Forest Department, in coordination with the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) Bangalore, has initiated in-situ conservation by setting up networks of Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas (MPCA) and Medicinal Plant Development Areas (MPDA) are established and managed with the help of local people across different forest types.

Database on Medicinal plants (Under preparation)

National Parks and Sanctuaries

Karnataka's forests endowed with rich wildlife. The forests of Karnataka supports 25% of the India's elephant population and 10% of the India's tiger population. The state has 5 National Parks and 21 Sanctuaries comprising about 17.3% of total forest area as protected area for wildlife and biodiversity.

National parks

Name

Area in sq. km

1. Anshi National Park

250

2. Bandipur National Park

874.2

3. Bannerghatta National Park

104.27

4. Kudremukha National Park

600.32

5. Nagarahole National Park

643.39

Sanctuaries

Name

Area in sq. km

1. Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary

0.84

2. Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary

13.5

3. Attiveri Bird Sanctuary

2.23

4. BRT Wildlife Sanctuary

539.58

5.Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

492.46

6.Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

181.8

7.Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

102.59

8.Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

475.02

9.Doraji Bear Sanctuary

55.87

10.Ghataprabha Wildlife Sanctuary

20.78

11.Gudavi Bird Sanctuary

0.73

12.Melukote Wildlife Sanctuary

45.82

13.Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary

247

14.Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary

30.32

15.Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

102.59

16.Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

0.67

17.Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary

119

18.Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary

431.23

19.Shettihalla Wildlife Sanctuary

395.6

20.Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary

88.4

 21.Thalakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary

105

Tiger reserves

Name

Area in sq. km

Year of establishment

1. Bandipur

874

1973

2. Bhadra

492

1998

Biosphere reserve

Name

Area in sq. km

Year of establishment

1. Nilgiri

5520

1986

 

 Last updated on: 22-11-2010                                                                |                                             Designed and developed by EMPRI