Of Forest



Forest Areas


Andaman Padauk -The State Tree
The tropical rain forests of Andamans can be divided into two main categories. A group where the forest is mostly a function of the edaphic factors and a group where the climate is the controlling factor.
These are:
(A) Edaphic Pre-climax forests:
1. Tidal Swamp Forests (Mangrove Forests)
2. Littoral Forests (Beach Forests)
3. Andaman Semi-Evergreen Forests (Low level Evergreen Forests)
4. Southern Hilltop Tropical Evergreen Forests.

(B) Tropical Climatic forests:
1. Andaman Moist Deciduous Forests.
2. Andaman Tropical Evergreen Forests.
3. Giant Evergreen Forests.

Champion and Seth have classified Forest vegetation of these islands into different types depending upon the nature of soil, tidal influence, moisture retainability and floristic composition. However, these forest types are not distinctly demarcated, but on the other hand they imperceptibly merge into one another and form an intimate mixture.

Forest Types Of Middle Andaman (FSI 2009)

Forest Type
Area(in SQ KM)
Non Forest
Giant Evergreen Forest
Andaman Tropical Evergreen Forest
Southern Hilltop Tropical Evergreen Forest
Cane Brakes
Wet Bamboo Brakes
Andaman Semi - Evergreen Forest
Andaman Moist Deciduous Forest
Andaman Secondary Moist Deciduous forest
Littoral Forest
Tidal Swamp Forest (Mangrove Forest)
Submontane Hill valley Swamp Forest

Brief description of the forest types are given here under:

1. Giant Evergreen Forest

Description: This is the most luxuriant type of forest met with and is the climatic climax where site conditions are optimum for the tree growth. The top canopy formed by the giant trees, is almost entirely evergreen and though usually irregular, may locally be more or less complete.
Distribution:This type is present in small areas near the banks of the larger streams, where soil is deep alluvial. This forest type is now confined to Jarawa Reserve, National parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and un-worked natural forests.
Locality Factors: A well distributed annual rainfall of over 3,000mm and a sufficiently retentive soil, with good internal drainage.

2. Andaman Tropical Evergreen Forest

Description: Not so luxuriant as the Giant Evergreen Forest particularly in height , density and size of the top storey. The canopy is very irregular and incomplete but is very similar in composition. There are fewer species in the top canopy, deciduous species rather more frequent and gregarious occurrence is commoner.
Distribution:Throughout the Andamans, typically as caps to the hills with Moist Deciduous forests on the slopes.
Locality Factors: An annual rainfall of over 3,000mm, well-distributed and sufficiently retentive deep soil with good internal drainage.

3.Southern Hilltop Tropical Evergreen Forest

Description: A more or less inferior edition of the tropical wet evergreen, hardly more than 10m high in extreme cases.
Distribution: On the exposed upper slopes and tops of hills and some times on steep slopes lower down.
Locality Factors: Exposure to wind and generally less favourable conditions of soil and climate than the main climax form. Annual rainfall is usually high over 3,500mm and humidity is high during the period of low rainfall.

4.Cane Brakes

Description: An impenetrable thorny thicket, sometimes with a few tall trees standing over it, sometimes without. The stems are typically trailing and may be 60m.or more long. Some species are more or less erect.
Distribution:Throughout the Evergreen and Semi-evergreen climaxes and locally in Moist Deciduous forests.
Locality Factors: Occurs in wet hollows extending outwards to various distances, becoming more conspicuous with heavier and better distributed rainfall, i.e. in the wet tropical evergreen. The soil is permanently wet, usually fine clay and very rich in humus.

5. Wet Bamboo Brakes

Description: The brakes are often very dense, even if the bamboo grows in clumps. The bamboo tends to be of a smaller type rather than the big culmed species.
Distribution:Throughout the Tropical Evergreen tracts of Andamans.
Locality Factors: Wet Bamboo Brakes are usually found along streams or on badly drained hollows more or less displacing the tree forest, whilst Cane Brakes replace them in the wettest sites.

6.Andaman Semi - Evergreen Forest

Description: A luxuriant type of forest with many giant trees which include both evergreen and deciduous species, often intimately mixed but frequently in groups, particularly the evergreens. Climbers are often heavy, bamboo may or may not be present. Chengappa describes it as the densest forests in Andamans and terms it “Low Evergreen Forest.”
Distribution:In the main valleys.
Locality Factors: The chief characteristic is the immature alluvial soil sufficiently old and raised above flood level to be able to progress to the climatic climax, but with a good well drained sub-soil.

7.Andaman Moist Deciduous Forest

Description: There is typically, a somewhat irregular top storey of predominantly deciduous trees, about 40m or more in height. Many of the trees have very large girth and are heavily buttressed. Beneath these trees is rather definite second story of numerous species including some evergreen species. Though most are deciduous, there is a fairly complete shrubby evergreen under storey, with patches of bamboos. Climbers are heavy and often include canes.
Distribution:Met with throughout the Andaman Islands covering nearly half the total forest area.
Locality Factors: The underlying rock is chiefly hard, coarse grained sandstone, with bands of shale and conglomerate and the soil which is often shallow, is a sandy or clayey loam, light yellow in colour. This type is confined to the hilly ground and does not extend much above 100metre elevation, where Tropical Evergreen Forest displaces it. This occurs on flat alluvial ground where the Low Evergreen Forest is in possession.

8. Andaman Secondary Moist Deciduous forest

Description: A more or less even aged pole crop.
Distribution: Worked over areas of the primary type.
Locality Factors: As for the primary type.

9. Littoral Forest

Description: The most characteristic species is the tall evergreen Manilkara littoralis, which often forms an almost pure fringe on sandy beaches and dunes along the sea face. Scattered smaller evergreen trees occur with fewer deciduous trees and these form the dominant canopy. There are numerous shrubs and where the undergrowth is light, maritime grasses and surface creepers are conspicuous binding the sand. In the depressions, which are swampy usually with saline water, the tidal species are poorly developed with a dense undergrowth. If the water is fresher, tall grasses (Phragmites) occur.
Distribution:All round the coast wherever a fair width of sandy beach occurs.
Locality Factors: The habitat is an exposed one with pronounced characteristics. The soil is sea-sand often blown and accumulating in low dunes, with adequate lime from shell fragments but poor in nitrogen and mineral nutrients. It is very coarse, porous and dry at the surface, but the water table is usually a few feet down. The water is fresher than expected, but often brackish. Strong winds, often salt laden, act as desiccating agents with strong insulation and radiation from the bare sand rendering conditions pronouncedly xerophytic. The temperature is moderate by sea breezes due to the proximity to sea. Rainfall varies with locality; its influence is mainly seen in the rate at which the formation progresses towards the climatic climax.

10.Tidal Swamp Forest (Mangrove Forest)

Description: Typically a closed evergreen forest of moderate height composed of trees specially adapted to survive on tidal mud, which is permanently wet with saline water and submerged during every tide. Stilt roots are very typical (notably in Rhizophora), so also leathery leaves and vivipary.
Distribution:In the river deltas along the edge of the waterways and inter-tidal, sheltered muddy coasts.
Locality Factors: The type is found on the mud banks of the delta streams, the tails of islands and over more extensive areas near the sea face wherever accretion is in progress. It does not develop on the sandy banks at the sea face. Though some young growth may be found, it passes on to other types without full development in the present. The ground is flooded daily by salt water and never has time to dry out.

11. Submontane Hill valley Swamp Forest

Highly restricted type with species of little forestry value.

  Work Plan of Divisional Forest Office, Middle Andaman


The emerald islands and the turquoise ocean around comprise variety of Eco-systems providing shelter to wide variety of flora and fauna. Though, biological investigations are not complete, 2200 species of flowering plants have been identified so far.
About 10 % of these flora are endemic because of the isolated nature of these islands and many of them are not found in Indian mainland but occur in South East Asia. Majority of these endemic flora are rare and endangered. There is acute need to pay proper attention towards their preservation and propagation to save these genetic resources of the country, from extinction. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are one of the 221 priority areas concerning conservation of global bio-diversity.

Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India, Port Blair surveyed floral diversity and faunal diversity respectively and as per their study the results are as follows:


  •  Flowering plants: About 2000 nos. of species have been described so far out of which11% are endemic (found nowhere else in the world) and 40% are non-endemic having only extra-Indian distribution and (found only in A & N Islands and outside India).
  •  Lower plants: They are not sufficiently documented but Islands are rich in ferns and (over 100 species) are reported.
  •  About 221 species of flowering plants are endemic, of which 110 are rare and endangered.
  •  Out of 630 species of higher plants in Red Data Book, 46 are from A & N Islands.
  •   About 40 species are extremely localized; and not known from more than one locality.

  Work Plan of Divisional Forest Office, Middle Andaman

These ecosystems provide ideal habitat to a rich array of life forms. Among the texa 1454 are indigenous making 16.6 % texa endemic. About 50 species of plants that occur in Middle Andaman Islands are rare and endangered, while many more are reported to be vulnerable. A checklist of identified threatened plant species of Andamans is given in the Appendix. Important among the endangered plants found in this division are:

1. Amoora manii
2. Calophyllum kuntsleri
3. Dipterocarpus keraii
4. Elephantus callophylus
5. Endospermum peltatum
6. Ficus andamanica
7. Glochidion andamanicum
8. Litsea leiantha
9. Mesua manii
10. Nauclea gagaena
11. Prismatomeris andamanica
12. Reissantia andamanica
13. Scutellaria andamanica
14. Stephenia andamanica
15. Strogilodon ruber
16. Syzygium kurzii
17. Tadehagi triquetrum
18. Trigonostemon aurantiacus
19. Tylophora globifera
20. Vernonia petuna
21. Zeuxine andamanica
22. Zeuxine rolfiana

  Work Plan of Divisional Forest Office, Middle Andaman


1)The Entire Area Of the Following Islands

SI NO. Name Of the Islands   SI NO. Name Of the Islands
1 Entrance 12 Bennett
2 Surat 13 South Reef
3 Speke 14 Anderson
4 Ranger 15 Mask
5 Roper 16 Tuft
6 Homp 17 Porlob
7 Flat 18 Guitar
8 Gurjan 19 Round
9 Parkinson 20 Barren
10 Oyster 21 Chengappa
11 Cone    

2)The Area under Middle Andaman main island excluding the area of the following 44 villages:

SI NO. Name Of the Islands   SI NO. Name Of the Islands
1 Nimbutala 23 Urmilapur
2 Amkunj 24 Kalsi
3 Panchavati 25 Bangaon
4 Padmanabhpuram 26 Syamkund
5 Sivpuram 27 Kadamtala
6 Tiruvanchikkulam 28 Uttara
7 Ramchandra nagar 29 Santhanu
8 Dharampur 30 Koshalya nagar
9 Santhipur 31 Shaktigarh
10 Swadeshnagar 32 Mayabunder
11 Rangat 33 Pokha Dera
12 Janakpur 34 Danapur
13 Dasharatpur 35 Rampur
14 Sabari 36 Lucknow
15 Sitapur 37 Latau
16 Mithila 38 Devpur
17 Rampur 39 Webi
18 Parnasala 40 Pahelgaon
19 Bharatpur 41 Hanspuri
20 Vishnupur 42 Chainpuri
21 Bakultala 43 Pudi,adirao
22 Lakshmanpur 44 Tugapur

(3) The area under Long Island excluding the area of the village Long Island.

  Work Plan of Divisional Forest Office, Middle Andaman
  Notification NO. No. 115/47-5/60-DH Dt. 08.09.63 Download Pdf