Due to a tropical hot and humid climate with abundant rains, all the major islands support a very luxuriant and rich vegetation. As per the State of Forest Report, 2003 published by the Forest Survey of India, 84.4% of the total geographic area of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is under forest cover. Of the total forest cover, 42.1% are very dense forest, 34.1% are moderately dense forest, 8.2% are open forest and mangrove constitute 9.6%. Island- wise and Category-wise forest cover is given in the following table:
|District/ Category||(Area in Km2)|
|Geographical Area||Very Dense Forest||Mod. Dense Forest||Open Forest||Total||Percent of GA||Change||Scrub|
|Andaman Group of Islands||6408||4535||580||230||5345||83.41||15||0|
|Nicobar Group of Islands||1841||1151||105||150||1406||76.37||25||1|
Total area recorded (notified) as forests is 7170.69 sq.km. which constitute 86.93% of the geographic area of these islands.
|Name of District||Reserved Forests||Protected Forests||Un-classed Forests||Total (Area in Sq Km)|
|North & Middle Andaman||3320.82||0||0||3320.82|
|S.No.||Name of the Division||Area in Sq km|
|Reserve Forest||Protected Forest||Un-classed Forest||Total Area|
|1||Diglipur Forest Division||1171.60||NIL||NIL||1171.60|
|2||Mayabunder Forest Division||926.96||NIL||NIL||926.96|
|3||Middle Andaman Forest Division||857.12||NIL||NIL||857.12|
|4||Baratang Forest Division||365.14||NIL||NIL||365.14|
|5||Havelock Forest Division||281.7||NIL||NIL||281.37|
|6||South Andaman Forest Division||1303.75||16.19||NIL||1316.94|
|7||Little Andaman Forest Division||706.49||NIL||NIL||706.49|
|8||Nicobar Forest Division||NIL||1542.07||NIL||1542.07|
Vegetation of these islands has been classified into following twelve forest types by Champion and Seth. However, these forest types are not distinctly demarcated and they imperceptibly merge into one another and form an intimate mixture.
Mostly occur in deep alluvial soil near the banks of larger streams
Major species: Dipterocarpus spp., Calophyllum soulattri, Artocarpus chaplasha, Amoora wallichii etc.
Similar to the giant evergreen forests but not so luxurient and occur mostly on hilltops.
Major species: Dipterocarpus grandiflorus, Xantho-phyllum andamanicum, Artocarpus chaplasha, Myristica andamanica etc.
occur on the exposed upper slopes and tops of hills and sometimes on steep slopes lower down.
Major species: Dipterocarpus costatus, Mesua ferrea, Canarium manii, Hopea andamanica
are luxurient types of forests with many giant trees both of evergreen and deciduous nature. Climbers are often heavy. Occur in valleys.
Major species: Pterocymbium tinctorium, Sterculia campanulata, Terminalia bialata, T.procera, Albizzia chinensis, A.lebbek
are distributed extensively in Andamans but not that much in Nicobar group of Islands. Top storey is irregular with tall deciduous trees followed by a second storey which comprise numerous species including some evergreen trees.
Major species: Pterocarpus dalbergioides, Terminalia bialata, T.Manii, T.procera, Pterocymbium tinctorium, Tetrameles nudiflora, Dillenia pentagyna etc.
occur in worked over areas of the primary type.
Major species: anarium euphyllum, Pterocymbium tincto-rium, Salmalia insignis, Tetrameles nudiflora, Terminalia manii, T.procera, Albizzia lebbek etc.
occur all round the coast wherever a fair width of sandy beach occurs.
Major species: Manilkara littoralis is the most characteristic species of this type in these islands. Other species Scavela frutescens, Hibiscus tiliaceus, Morind citrifolia, Terminalia catappa, Pandanus tectorius etc.
occupy shores, mouth of creeks and inland channels of these islands. These are salt tolerant species and occupy 966 sq.km. area of these islands
Major species: Rhizophora mucronata, R.can-delaria, Bruguiera conjugata, B.parviflora, Avicennia officinalis, Ceriops tagal, Kandelia candel, Sonneratia caseolaris, Excoecaria etc.
are considered finest development of tidal forests and may be a closed forest of 35 m height. These are found in larger deltas and creeks along the outer periphery and at places where salt water mixes with fresh water.
Major species: Heriteria littoralis, Barringtonia racemosa, B.asiatica, Brownlowia lanceolata, Nypa fruticans, Phoenix paludosa etc.
is an irregular forest of a limited number of mainly evergreen species. Trees are usually low, crowded and branchy.
Major species: Dense growth of Calamus, while Ficus and monocotyledons such as Alpinia often form the undergrowth.
are found through out the evergreen and semi-evergreen climaxes and locally in moist deciduous forests. Cane brakes are impenetrable thorny thickets sometimes with a few tall trees.
Major species: Calamus spp. and sometimes creeping bamboo - Dixochloa andamanica.
often very dense occuring throughout tropical evergreen racts of Andamans.
Major species: Dendrocalamas brandisi, Oxytenthera spp, Bambusa schizostachyoides.