Forest Types of Nagaland

Forest near Pangti village of Nagaland
Forest Near Pangti Village, Nagaland
The forest of Nagaland covers 12489 sq km, which is 75.3 per cent of the total state 16,579 sq km area. In terms of canopy density, Nagaland has 1279 sq km under very dense forest, 4587 sq km under moderately dense forest and 6623 sq km under open forest.

However, in terms of climate and vegetation, forest area of Nagaland can be divided into six types:

1. Northern Tropical Wet Forests is limited to Mon district. One abundant in Namsa-Tisit area but a now has only presence in Zankam area. The dominant species of this forest are Hollong, Makai and Nahor.

2. Northern Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests are found on the border of Assam and Nagaland in Mokokchung, Wokha and Kohima Districts. Bhelu, Paroli and Jutuli are the important species of this forest. It is similar to Northern Tropical West Forest, but it has more decidious vegetation.

3. Northern Sub-tropical Broad Leaved Wet Hills Forests are found in the area of altitude between 500 and 1800 m. These are decidious in nature. Koroi, Pomas, Sopas, Gamari, Gogra, Khokan, Hollok, Sam, Am, Badam, Betula are some of the most important timber species of this type of forest.

4. Northern Sub-tropical Pine Forests are found in the area with altitude of 1000 to 1500 meters in parts of Phek and Tuensang districts. Pine is the dominant species and found in mix with Quercus, Schima, Prunus, Betula and Rhododendron. Rhododendron is the state flower of Nagaland.

5. Northern Montane Wet-temperate Forests are found in area with an average elevation of 2000 m and above, mostly in Japfu, Saramati, Satoi, Chentang ranges. Quercus, Michelia, Magnolia, Prunus, Schima, Alnus and Betula are some of the major plant species found here.

6. Temperate Forests are found in area with altitude above 2500 m such as Saramati and Dzukou. Rhododendron is the dominant plant species of this area with splodges of Juniperus coxie and Birch.

According to Forest Survey of India, forest cover has diminished by 450 sq km from 2015 numbers. This is particularly due to Jhum cultivation of Nagaland.