Forest & Wildlife Resources of Tripura

Forest& Wildlife Resources of Tripura
1.1       Introduction
The state of Tripura, with a geographical area of 10491 km2 is predominantly hilly (60%) & is surrounded on three sides by a deltaic basin of Bangladesh. The state is situated between 22o57’ & 24o32’N and 91o10’ & 92o20’E with tropic of cancer passing through it. The State is situated in the south-western extremity of North-East region of the country. It shares border (1001 km in perimeter) with Bangladesh, Assam and Mizoram. International border with Bangladesh is 856 km, which is almost completely open and porous.
The forests in the state are mainly tropical evergreen, semi evergreen, and moist deciduous. Sizeable area is covered with bamboo brakes which virtually form a “Sub climax” resulting from shifting cultivation from time immemorial. The details of forest resources are given below.
            (a)       Forest Area : 6294.287 Km2
            (b)       % of forest area to geographical area (10491 Km2)       59.99%
Legal classification of forests

Tripura Forest Department

Statement of Forest Land (in sq km)

District

Civil Sub-division

Geographical area

Forest area

RF

PRF

UGF

PF

Total

% Total

North

 

1356.78

465.751

55.684

325.123

0.009

846.567

13.4

 

Kanchanpur

769.04

328.291

0.000

281.495

0.000

609.786

9.7

 

Dharmanagar

301.33

36.041

19.403

0.000

0.009

55.453

0.9

 

Panisagar

286.41

101.419

36.281

43.628

0.000

181.328

2.9

Unakoti

 

711.47

181.520

97.371

97.848

0.000

376.739

6.0

 

Kailashahar

235.92

27.267

42.171

0.000

0.000

69.438

1.1

 

Kumarghat

475.55

154.253

55.200

97.848

0.000

307.301

4.9

Dhalai

 

2256.67

1091.854

44.412

722.543

0.559

1859.368

29.5

 

Longthorai Valley

869.32

614.766

0.000

99.149

0.549

714.464

11.4

 

Ambassa

549.09

307.998

1.090

207.916

0.000

517.004

8.2

 

Gandachhara

451.18

31.581

0.000

394.055

0.000

425.636

6.8

 

Kamalpur

387.08

137.509

43.322

21.423

0.010

202.264

3.2

Khowai

 

1016.40

404.812

28.959

153.453

0.000

587.224

9.3

 

Khowai

508.03

116.857

16.196

100.724

0.000

233.777

3.7

 

Teliamura

508.37

287.955

12.763

52.729

0.000

353.447

5.6

West

 

833.68

157.531

0.530

56.521

0.000

214.582

3.4

 

Sadar

196.85

1.587

0.000

0.000

0.000

1.587

0.0

 

Mohanpur

397.09

69.928

0.161

3.780

0.000

73.869

1.2

 

Jirania

239.74

86.016

0.369

52.741

0.000

139.126

2.2

Sepahijala

 

1154.78

170.689

72.067

101.274

0.026

344.056

5.5

 

Bishalgarh

385.59

16.108

1.661

1.992

0.000

19.761

0.3

 

Jampuijala

287.51

77.670

0.068

20.381

0.000

98.119

1.6

 

Sonamura

481.68

76.911

70.338

78.901

0.026

226.176

3.6

Gomati

 

1697.00

662.320

43.012

419.280

0.521

1125.133

17.9

 

Udaipur

631.71

231.872

15.188

94.560

0.000

341.620

5.4

 

Amarpur

766.92

352.513

27.824

191.401

0.421

572.159

9.1

 

Karbook

298.37

77.935

0.000

133.319

0.100

211.354

3.4

South

 

1464.91

453.706

245.598

240.832

0.482

940.618

14.9

 

Santirbazar

235.16

174.761

95.841

108.599

0.241

379.442

6.0

 

Belonia

780.95

173.848

86.584

38.724

0.241

299.397

4.8

 

Sabroom

448.80

105.097

63.173

93.509

0.000

261.779

4.2

Total

 

10491.69

3588.183

587.633

2116.874

1.597

6294.287

100.0

                 
 

Abstract:

           
 

ADC

3129.572

114.291

1966.632

0.754

5211.249

82.8

 

Non-ADC

458.611

473.342

150.242

0.843

1083.038

17.2

 

Total

3588.183

587.633

2116.874

1.597

6294.287

100.0

               

1.2       Forest types
According to classification of Champion and Seth, the forests of the state have been classified in the following six types:

Types of forests Code Area in km2
(1)       East Himalayan Lower Bhabar Sal I/I/3/3C/CIb 87.77
(2)       Cachar Tropical Evergreen Forests I/I/IB/C3 150.94
(3)       Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests I/I/3/3C/C3 550.28
(4)       Low Alluvial Savannah Woodland I/I/3/3C/ISI 1316.82
(5)       Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests, Dry Bamboo Brakes I/I/3C/2SI 1230.04
(6)       Secondary Moist Bamboo Brakes I/I/2/2B/2SI 397.09
Total 3732.94

1.3        Growing stock

Growing Stock in Recorded Forest Area   22.90 million cum
Growing Stock in TOF 6.87 million cum
Growing Stock in Agroforestry 4.80 million cum
Growing Stock in Urban Area 0.08 million cum

Source-India State of Forest Report 2013.
1.4       Growth potential of plantations
Blessed with high rainfall, humidity and nutrient rich soils, the forests of the State are in very high productivity zones. Excellent silvicultural conditions prevail for forest production. According to Patterson’s CVP (climate, vegetation and precipitation) index (1000-5000) the potential productivity is estimated to be 9-12 m3/ha/year. Research statistics corroborate the fact and following table shows that MAI of commercially important trees in plantations is quite high.

Species Age in years Volume(m3/ha) MAI (m3/ha)
Teak (Tectona grandis) Exotic 20 248 12.40
 Sal(Shorea robusta) 20 181 9.05
Gamar (Gmelina arborea) 20 335 16.75
Chamal (Artocarpus) 20 235 11.75

There is a large gap between potential and actual productivity, and generally poor actual productivity in natural forests is due to anthropogenic stress and this is a matter of concern because, rising demand and poor productivity lead to the vicious cycle of low productivity to resource degradation of more area to further lower productivity.
1.5       Biodiversity of the state
The State is located in the Bio-geographic zone of 9B-North-East Hills and is extremely rich in bio-diversity, which is getting increasingly threatened. Situated in the Indian sub-region of Oriental Zoo-geographic region, local flora and fauna bear a very close affinity and resemblance with floral and faunal components of Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese sub-regions.
Flora
The research on status of flora identifying 379 species of trees, 320 shrubs, 581 herbs, 165 climbers, 16 climbing shrubs, 35 ferns, 45 epiphytes and 4 parasites (Total 1,545 taxa) reveal that there are 50 plants species restricted to Tripura and its neighbouring States. Out of them 7 are endemic and 18 are rare plants. Angiopteris evecta, a fern and Gnetum montanum, a giant climber belonging to Gymnosperm are two rare species but occur in profusely in Trishna Sanctuary.  Tree ferns (Cyathia spp.), which are also primitive and endangered, are found in South Tripura. There are 24 species of orchids of which and Dendrobium has the highest species diversity (14 species). Endangered orchids like Blue vanda (Vanda caerulea) and Red vanda (Renunthera imschootiana) are found in the state. There are 266 species of medicinal plants in the State (68 trees, 39 shrubs, 71 herbs and 88 climbers). Maximum value of Plant-Diversity Index (Shannon-Weiner) reported is 5.23, which generally ranges from 3-4, indicating presence of a variety of species uniformly.
Fauna
According to latest estimates, there are 90 mammal species in Tripura from 65 genera and 10 orders. These make up for about 19, 48 & 100% of the total species, genera, and orders of the land-mammals record forIndia, respectively. Seven primate species have been documented in Tripura out of a total 15 found in India. Of these primates, slow loris and stumped tailed macaques have become rare. Phayre’s langur (locally known as ‘Chashma Banar’), has a very restricted distribution in India, and is found in Tripura.  Hoolock gibbon is the only ape and found in India and is also found in Tripura, though, its population is on decline in Tripura.
Ornithofauna(birds)comprises 342 reported species in the State, of which about 58 are migratory species.One near threatened species – the darter. There is high diversity of birds of prey, frugivorous birds, marsh birds and flower peckers. In the aquatic ecosystem 14 (fourteen) species of fish have been recorded, of which 2 are endangered (Anguilla bengalensis and Psuedeatroptus alterinoides) and 12 vulnerable. Due to silting of river beds and filling up of wetlands, different species of marsh birds and fishes are on decline.
Ecosystems
Tripura has diverse ecosystems ranging from forests and grasslands to freshwater wetlands.  There are six types of 408 wetlands, of which, water logged (seasonal) are most numerous followed by oxbow lakes and lakes/ponds.
Watershed/Catchments Areas:  The State has 10 major rivers running over a total length of 903 km across the State.  All these rivers have watershed/catchments areas of over 9400 ha covering 6 major hill range.

River (length in Km.)

Location

Catchment Hill Range

Combined Catchments (hectare)

Howrah (35.90)

Agartala

Baramura

400

Gomati (163.40)

Sonamura-Udiapur

Baramura

2492

Khowai (166)

Khowai

Atharamura

1328

Dhalai (75.85)

Kamalpur

Atharamura-Longtharai

630

Manu (140)

Kailashahr

Longtharai

2278

Juri (79)

Dhramnagar

Jampui

482

Feni (86.80)

Sabroom

Baramura-Deotamura

505

Burima (50)

Bishalgarh

Baramura

414

Deo (50)

Jampui

Sakhan-Jampui

328

Muhuri (56)

Belonia

Baramura-Deotamura

576

 

 

 

Water Depth of Rivers:  The flood levels of major rivers in Tripura are as follows:

River (length in Km.)

Danger Level (M)

Observed H.F.L. (M)

Howrah (35.90)

10.5

11.3

Gomati (163.40)

13.5

14.47

Khowai (166)

24.5

25.62

Dhalai (75.85)

32.5

33.91

Manu (140)

24.0

25.92

Juri (79)

22.0

23.93

Feni (86.80)

18.3

19.5

Burima (50)

-

15.1

Deo (50)

21.5

23.0

Muhuri (56)

15.0

15.74

 

Name of the sanctuary

Area in Km2

Important flora and fauna found

1.Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary

18.540

Birds and primates, migratory birds in the winter

2. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary

389.540

Elephant, samber, barking deer, wild goats, serrow etc.

3. Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary

194.710

Bison, leopard, barking deer, wild dog, capped langur, king cobra, spectacled monkey, slow lorries, etc.

4. Roa Wildlife Sanctuary

0.860

Many species of birds and primates

 

603.650

 

 

 

In addition to in-situ conservation efforts, ex-situ conservation measures are being fulfilled in the State through Sepahijala Zoo.  The Zoo houses 512 animals (as on 1.4.2002) belonging to 53 different species. Conservation breeding programme on leopard cat, binturong, and primates is being taken up along with conservation education and awareness promotion efforts.Protected Area Network
Pursuant to the need for in-situ conservation and development of bio-diversity, a network of 4 sanctuaries has been established in the State, which represent diverse ecosystem and wildlife habitat spread through out the State. Sanctuary wise area with targeted species for conservation are tabulated below:

1.10     Important wild life and their status as per latest census report
As per last census conducted in 2002, the district wise status of important wild life in the state is as mentioned below:

Name of the sanctuary

Area in Km2

Important flora and fauna found

1.Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary

18.540

Birds and primates, migratory birds in the winter

2. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary

389.540

Elephant, samber, barking deer, wild goats, serrow etc.

3. Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary

194.710

Bison, leopard, barking deer, wild dog, capped langur, king cobra, spectacled monkey, slow lorries, etc.

4. Roa Wildlife Sanctuary

0.860

Many species of birds and primates

 

603.650

 

 

1.11     Medicinal plants resource
            Tripura has one of the oldest, richest & most diverse cultural traditions associated with use of medical plants. There are large number of village based herbal medicines practitioners who have traditional knowledge of herbal home remedies of ailments & nutrition. Besides the above registered medical practitioners of modified system of Indian Medicine (such as Ayurveda) use medical plants. The herbal medicines used by rural people including tribal have not yet been documented. Compiling an exhaustive inventory of medicinal plants in the State is the need of the hour.   So far about 266 species of medicinal plants (68 trees, 39 shrubs, 71 herbs and 88 climbers) have been identified and documented.
 
 
1.12     Bamboo and cane Resource
Bamboo plays a very vital role in the economy of the State as it serves the artisan & non-artisan users of the state. The bamboo forests of Tripura may be fitted into the following types & sub types as per Champion & Seth classification.
(i)        Moist mixed Deciduous Forest – 1/3/3C/C3
(ii)       Secondary moist Bamboo Brakers – 1/2/2B/2Si
Availability of Bamboo
A total of 19 species of bamboo are reported in the state.
(i)        Species of bamboo found in Tripura:
Barak (Bambusa balcooa), Bari (Bambusa polymorpha), Mritinga (Bambusa tulda), Muli (Melocanna baccifera), Kai (Bambusa nutans), Paora (Bambusa teres), Rupai (Dendrocalamus longispathus), Dolu (Neohuzeaua dullooa), Makal (Bambusa pallida), Pecha (Dendrocalamus hamiltonii), Kailyai (Oxytenanthera nigrociliata), Kanak kaich (Bambusa offinis), Lanthi bans (Dendrocalamus strictus), Tetua (Bambusa spp.), Ish (Bambusa spp.), Jai (Bambusa spp.), Bombash (Bambusa spp.), Sairil/Wadu bamboo (Melocalamus compactiflorus), Bosai (bambusa spp.).
Productivity of bamboo in Tripura;
 The productivity of bamboo at present is only 0.70 MT per ha /yr. Research studies in varius forest divisions show that the productivity of bamboo can be increased to 5MT per ha/year in natural conditions with timely plantation  and protection measures.
Growing stock of bamboo in the state - (all strata included)

 

Clump forming bamboo

Non-clump forming bamboo

 

Nos.

Weight

Nos.

Weight

Average/ha

58.954

94.931

1058.36

1255.08 kg

Total for the State

37093 m

59415.98MT

665.92 m

789695.77 MT

 

FSI report, 1993
The Yield Of Bamboos in the State (taking a rotation of 5 years)

Category

Yield in weight (MT)

Yield in Number (million)

Clump forming

14853

9.27

Non-clump forming

197424

166.50

Total

212277

175.32

 

Source : FSI report, 1993
Availability of Cane
A total of six (6) cane species are reported from Tripura (C. viminalis, C. floribundus, C. tenuis, C. leptospadix, C. guruba, C. erectus).  However, no estimates on the existing growing stock of aforesaid cane species are available.
1.13     Contribution of Forestry Sector to Rural Economy
While the annual revenue from forests in the State is around Rs. 300 lakhs, the subsidy that flows to the rural economy on account of free removal of only five items of forest produce has been conservatively estimated to be Rs. 12,926 lakhs, which is about 5.57% of State Domestic Product (SDP). This does not take into account edible fruits, tubers, medicinal plants and many other non-timber forest produce. Recorded/unrecorded removal/use of aforesaid five categories of forest produce is estimated as below:

Produce

Recorded removal (million units)

Unrecorded removal (million units)

Actual removal (million units)

Value per unit (Rs.)

Value (in Rs. Lakhs)

Timber

0.012

0.034

0.046

2000/m3

680

Fuelwood

0.043

2.194

2.236

200/m3

4388

Thatch

0.13

0.213

0.343

80/ton

170

Fodder

 

1.53

1.53

500/ton

7650

Bamboo

109.76

75.50

184.26

50000/million

38

Total

 

 

 

 

12926

Demand and supply scenario of forest produce
Except bamboo, the supply of other forest produce is not at all commensurate with the sustainable yield.  The supply also includes timber from settled and private land as can be seen from the following Table:

Forestproduce

Average Demand/ capita

Total users (in million)

Extraction/ annum (million units)

Sustainable yield (million units)

Gap (million units)

Timber

0.022 m3

2.76

0.061

0.041

0.02

Fuelwood

0.806 m3

2.57

2.07

1.485

0.585

Bamboo

42.76 No.

2.57

109.82

142.60

-

Thatch

0.124 ton

2.57

0.32

0.0127

0.32

 

 
List of tree species having high timber value
 
1.Pterocarpus marsupium – Andaman padack
2.Artocarpus chaplasa – Chamol
3.Diospiros ebonum – Ebony
4.Gmelina arborea – Gamar
5.Dipterocarpus turbinatus – Garjan
6.Albizia procera – Koroi
7.Swietenia mahogany – Mahogony
8.Dalbergia latifolia – Rose wood
9.Pterocarpus santalinus – Red sanders
10.Michelia Montana – Sundi
11. Shorea robusta – Sal
12. Tectona grandis – Teak
 
Fast Growing edible plants with nutritional values
 
1. Moringa oleifera - Drum stick
2. Parkia javonica - Tree bean
3. Sesbania grandiflora - Bak phool
4. Artocarpus heterophylla - Kathal
5. Averrhoa carambola - Kamranga
6 .Emblica officinalis - Amla
7. Tamarindus indica - Tetul
8. Dioscorea alata - Ban Alu
9. Asparagus racemosus - Satmuli
10. Cassia fistula - Sonal
11.Cinnamomum obtusifolium- Ban-tejpata
 
List of plants endangered and threatened with extinction
 
1. Duabanga grandiflora – Ramdala (Tree)
2. Adina sessifolia - Haludehaki (Tree)
3. Michelia montana  - Champa sundi (Tree)
4. Magnolia pterocarpa – Duli champa (Tree)
5. Lochio spermum  – Halde simul (Tree)
6. Canarium Stricum – Dhup (Tree)
7. Aquiloria melacensnis – Agar (Tree)
8. Pterocarpus santalinus – Rakta chandan (Tree)
9. Santalum album – Chandan (Tree)
10. Rauvolfia serpentina – Sarpgandha (herb)
11. Dischidia raflosiana – Lantana kalasi (Climbar)
12. Drosera burmanni – Surja sisir (herb)
13. Elaocarpus prunifolia – Ban jalpai (Tree)
14. Mangifera sylavitica – Laxmi am (tree)
15. Entada phaseolides – Gila (woody climber)
16. Angiopteris evecta (Fern)
17. Cyathea gigantea (Tree)
18. Holmiathostachys zeylanica (Fern)
19. Podocarpus aerlifolius (Tree)
20. Xantolis assamica (Tree)
 
Fuel   wood  species
 
1.  Ailanthus excelsa – Indian tree of Heaven
2.  Cassia nodosa –pink shower Cassia (with Pink coloured flower)
3.  Cassia siamea –Minuri,Chakhunda,Sam desiya Cassia(Flower yellow with brown shades).
4.  Lucaena leucocephala-Subabul
5.  Acacia auriculiformis-Akashmami
6.  Melia azadirach-Ghoraneem/Maha Neem
7.  Peltoforum spp-Radha chura
8.  Acacia mangium- Mangium tree