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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 :               6292.681Km2

            (b)       % of forest area to geographical area (10491 Km2)            59.98%

Legal classification of forests

Status

Area (Km2)

% of Geographical Area of State

1.         Reserve Forests (RF)

3588.183

34.20

2.         Proposed Reserve Forests (PRF)

509.025

4.85

3.         Unclassified Govt. Forests (UGF) (recorded as per rule 16 of TLR & LR rules)

2195.473*

20.93

Total

6292.681

59.98

2070.650 Km2 inside ADC and 124.823 Km2 outside ADC

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       Forest composition and growing stock

Inventory survey carried out by the Forest Survey of India in the year 1991 (Report  on Forest Resources of Tripura) gives average number of stems and volume per hectare (in all strata i.e. miscellaneous, miscellaneous with bamboo, plantation, and shifting cultivation). The situation has slightly changed now due to increase in plantation area but volume per ha in different strata remains more or less the same. The growing stock is as follows :

Stratum

Area (km2)

Forest area

(% of Geo. Area)

Volume (m3)/ha (weighted

average)

Total Volume (million m3)

1.         Hardwood (misc) forests

1829

17.43

26.18

4.79

2.         Hardwood (misc) mixed with bamboo

484

4.61

29.84

1.44

3.         Bamboo forests

938

8.94

9.07

0.85

4.         Plantations

2221

21.17

20.69

4.28

5.         Shifting cultivation

840

7.81

5.34

0.52

Grand Total

6292

59.98

85.12

11.88

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/h)

Teak (Tectona gramdis) Exotic

20

248

12.40

 

20

181

9.05

Gamar (Gmelina arborea)

20

335

16.75

Chamal (Artocarpus)

20

235

11.75

The total growing stock in Tripura is 17.165 million cum, of which, 13.515 m cum is in forest area and remaining (3.650 m cum) is made up by the trees outside forests.

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 for India, 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 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

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:

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.

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:

Species

Districts

Total

North

South

West

Dhalai

Leopard

8

11

-

8

27

Clouded leopard

5

17

4

5

31

Barking deer

115

320

114

141

690

Phayre’s langur

43

131

262

92

528

Hoolock gibbon

33

47

-

-

80

Bison

-

112

-

-

112

Elephant

-

18

15

7

40

Slow loris

-

37

24

7

68

Flying Squirrel

-

37

-

-

37

Binturong

-

-

-

11

11

Bear

-

-

-

18

18

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

 

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:

Forest produce

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.Aquiloria melacensnis – Agar

2.Pterocarpus marsupium – Andaman padack

3.Artocarpus chaplasa – Chamol

4.Diospires ebonum – Ebony

5.Gmelina arborea – Gamar

6.Dipterocarpus turbinatus – Garjan

7.Albizia procera – Koroi

8.Swietenia mahogany – Mahogony

9.Dalbergia latifolia – Rose wood

10.Pterocarpus santalinus – Red sanders

11.Santalum album – Sandal wood

12.Michelia Montana – Sundi

13. Shorea robusta – Sal

14. Tectona grandis – Teak

 

Fast Growing edible plants with nutritional values

 

1. Drum stick

2. Tree bean

3. Bak phool

4. Kathal

5. Kamranga

6. Amla

7. Terul

8. Ban Alu

9. Satmuli

10. Sonal

11. Ban-tejpata

 

List of plants endangered and threatened with extinction

 

Duabanga grandiflora – Ramdala (Tree)

Adina sessifolia - Haludehaki (Tree)

Michelia montana  - Champa sundi (Tree)

Magnolia pterocarpa – Duli champa (Tree)

Lochio spermum  – Halde simul (Tree)

Canarium Stricum – Dhup (Tree)

Aquiloria melacensnis – Agar (Tree)

Pterocarpus santalinus – Rakta chandan (Tree)

Santalum album – Chandan (Tree)

Rauvolfia serpentina – Sarpgandha (herb)

Dischidia raflosiana – Lantana kalasi (Climbar)

Drosera burmanni – Surja sisir (herb)

Elaocarpus prunifolia – Ban jalpai (Tree)

Mangifera sylavitica – Laxmi am (tree)

Entada phaseolides – Gila (woody climber)

Angiopteris evecta (Fern)

Cyathea gigantea (Tree)

Holmiathostachys zeylanica (Fern)

Podocarpus Nerlifolius (Tree)

Xantolis Assamica (Tree)

 

Fuell  wood  species

 

1.         Ailanthus excelsa

2.         Cassia nodosa

3.         Cassia siamea

4.         Lucena leucocephala

5.         Acacia auriculiformis

6.         Melia azadiracht

7.         Peltoforum spp

8.         Acacia mangium

 

 

 

   
   

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