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Types and Distribution of Forest and Wildlife Resources

In India, forest and wildlife resources are owned and looked after by the government of India through its Forest Department.


Forests are classified under three categories by the Forest Department

  • Reserved forests

The most valuable forests are classified as Reserved forests. These forests are protected under the conservation acts. More than half of the total forest land in India comes under Reserved Forests.

  • Protected Forests

Forests that are protected from further destruction are called Protected Forests. One-third of the total forest areas in India are classified as Protected forests.

  • Unclassed forests

Forests and wastelands belonging to both government and private individuals and communities are classified as Unclassed Forests.

Forest density map

  • Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under permanent forests.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Maharashtra have large percentages of Reserved forests.
  • Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan have large percentage of Protected forests.
  • All Northeastern states and parts of Gujarat have a very high percentage of Unclassed forests managed by local communities.

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