Gujarat State was constituted as the Union of India on May1, 1960 after the bifurcation of the State of Bombay. The total geographical area of the state is 196024 sq. kms out of which 18961.56 sq. kms (9.67%) is the declared forest area with 7.72% of area as forest cover. The unique features of the state are the climatic and geomorphologic conditions v.i.z the largest coastline in the country, the saline deserts of Rann , grasslands, wetlands. These factors have bestowed the state with the diversity of flora and fauna. The majestic Asiatic lion and wild ass have their last resorts of the world in Gujarat. The faunal biodiversity consists of 14% fishes, 18 % reptiles, 37% avifauna and 25% of the mammal population of the country.
Gujarat Forest department is entrusted with the prime responsibility of protection, conservation and development of the forests and wildlife of the state.
The State Profile
The state of Gujarat is situated between the latitude of 2001’N to 2407’N and longitude of 6804’E to 7404’N E. The geographical area of the state is 196024 sq. km. The climate of the state is tropical, however, the same is considerably moderated due to the long coast line. The temperature ranges between 1 °C to 46 °C. The rainfall received in the state varies from region to region, and on the basis of rainfall received, the state has been divided into 8 Agro-climatic zones, as shown below :
Agro Climatic Zones of Gujarat
|Zone||Name of Zone||Reported area in “00” ha.||% to total area|
|A.||Heavy rainfall zone of South|
(Average annual rainfall 1500mm)
A-I : Sub-Zone hilly areas
A-II : Sub-Zone plain areas
|Sub Total :||6,049.6||4.93|
|B.||Moderate to heavy rainfall zone of South Gujarat|
(Average annual rainfall 1000-1500 mm)
|C.||Moderate rainfall zone of Central Gujarat (Average annual rainfall 800-1000 mm)||22,312.1||12.15|
|D.||Dry zone of North Gujarat|
(Average annual rainfall 625-875 mm)
|E.||Arid Zone of North-west Gujarat|
(Average annual rainfall 250-500mm)
|F.||Arid cum dry zone of North Saurashtra|
(Average annual rainfall 400-700 mm)
|G.||South Saurashtra zone|
(Average annual rainfall 750-1000 mm)
|H.||Bhal and coastal areas zone|
(Average annual rainfall 625-1000 mm)
The forests of Gujarat are known for their rich biodiversity, with a wide variety of flora and fauna. The state has three major forest types, each with its own unique plant and animal species.
- Tropical Deciduous Forests: These forests are characterized by tall trees that shed their leaves in the dry season. They are home to a range of species, including teak, sal, and bamboo, as well as animals like tigers, leopards, and various species of deer.
- Dry Deciduous Forests: These forests are found in areas with a longer dry season, and they support trees like the dhak, tendu, and khair. These forests are also known for their birdlife, including species such as the peafowl and the Indian hornbill.
- Mangrove Forests: The mangrove forests in Gujarat are located along the coast and support a variety of plant species, including the mangrove, Avicennia, and Rhizophora. These forests provide important habitats for saltwater crocodiles, green turtles, and a variety of fish species.
In addition to these forest types, the Gir Forest National Park is the only place in the world where the Asiatic lion is found. The park is also home to other species, such as the Bengal tiger, leopards, hyenas, and spotted deer.
The forests of Gujarat also provide essential ecosystem services and support the livelihoods of local communities, who depend on the forests for a range of products and services, such as bamboo, honey, and medicinal plants. Conservation efforts aim to protect these valuable forests and their biodiversity, while also promoting sustainable use of their resources.