The total forest cover in India is 7,12,249 square kilometers which is 21.67% of the total geographical area. India has added 3,976 sq km of forest cover from 2017 to 2019. The forest cover is divided into 3 parts.
- Very dense forest: All land with tree canopy density of 70% and above.
- Moderately dense forest: All land with tree canopy density of 40%-70%.
- Open forest: All land with tree canopy density of 10%-40%.
Top 5 states/UTs with most forest cover area
- Madhya Pradesh: 77,482 sq km
- Arunachal Pradesh: 66,688 sq km
- Chhattisgarh: 55,611 sq km
- Odisha: 51,619 sq km
- Maharashtra: 50,778 sq km
Top 5 states/UTs with most forest cover percentage (of their geographical area)
- Lakshadweep: 90.33 %
- Mizoram: 85.41 %
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 81.74 %
- Arunachal Pradesh: 79.63 %
- Meghalaya: 76.33 %
States/UTs with forest cover less than 10% of their geographical area
- Ladakh: 1.47 %
- Haryana: 3.62 %
- Punjab: 3.67 %
- Rajasthan: 4.86 %
- Uttar Pradesh: 6.15 %
- Gujarat: 7.57 %
- Bihar: 7.76 %
States/UTs with considerable forest cover increase from 2017 to 2019
- Karnataka: 1,025 sq km increase in forest cover
- Andhra Pradesh: 990 sq km increase
- Kerala: 823 sq km increase
Mangrove cover (included in total forest cover)
Mangroves are salt-tolerant plants that grow in coastal brackish waters and are mainly found between 24° N and 38° S latitudes. Mangroves form an important ecosystem hosting various species of flora and fauna. The total mangrove cover in India is 4,975 sq km.
Top 5 states with most mangrove forest cover in India
- West Bengal: 2,112 sq km
- Gujarat: 1,177 sq km
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 616 sq km
- Andhra Pradesh: 404 sq km
- Maharashtra: 320 sq km
North-east forest cover
The total forest cover in north-eastern states is 1,70,541 sq km which is 65.05% of the total geographical area of north-east. The north-east has lost 765 sq km of forest cover from 2017-2019.
Some important points
- The tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka) have the maximum tree and shrub biodiversity followed by forests of North-east India.
- Karnataka has the highest tree species richness followed by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
- The forest cover assessment is done with the help of LISS III sensor of ISRO’s Resourcesat-2 satellite.
- Since the assessment is done with the help of satellites, many factors affect the accuracy of the gathered data.
State wise forest cover in India
|State/UT||Forest cover (sq km)||Geographical area (sq km)||forest cover percentage (of geographical area)|
|Andhra Pradesh||29,137||1,62,968||17.88 %|
|Arunachal Pradesh||66,688||83.743||79.63 %|
|Himachal Pradesh||15,434||55,673||27.72 %|
|Madhya Pradesh||77,482||3,08,252||25.14 %|
|Tamil Nadu||26,364||1,30,060||20.27 %|
|Uttar Pradesh||14,806||2,40,928||6.15 %|
|West Bengal||16,902||88,752||19.04 %|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||6,743||8,249||81.74 %|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu||227.49||602||37.79 %|
|Jammu and Kashmir||21,122||53,258||39.66 %|
The stats provided in this article are as per 2019 India state of forest report.
The article was last updated on 30 June 2020.