Vegetation of Nagaland
- The Vegetation of Nagaland represents the transition zone between the Indian, Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese bio-geographic region as well as a meeting place of Himalayan Mountains with that of Peninsular India and therefore acts as a bio-geographic gateway.
- Many ancient angiosperms and primitive flowering plants are found here and therefore this area is considered as a cradle of flowering plants.
- Several groups of plants of Orchids, Rhododendrons, Ferns, Bamboos, Zingibers and Lichens have expressed their maximum diversity in this State.
- The State is also considered as one of the centers of origin of rice and secondary origin of citrus, chilly and maize.
- The State is also known to have a great treasure of medicinal plants, orchids, bamboos, canes, bryophytes and animal diversity.
- Forest resource has been playing an integral role in the lives of Naga people since distant past.
- Although Nagaland forest constitutes only 1.70% of total India’s forest, it is among the few proud states in India where virgin forest can still be found.
- It harbours very rich and unique biodiversity with the state being a part of the Indo -Burma biodiversity hot spot.
- Unfortunately, according to Forest Survey of India report-2013, Nagaland has been ranked first with respect to highest decrease of forest cover in India.
- Nagaland is very rich in bio-diversity, both flora and fauna. Even today some pockets of forests are covered with gigantic trees, where sun- rays can not penetrate.
- Due to reckless and uncontrolled cutting of trees for timber, firewood, continued Jhum cultivation and annual fire in vast tracts of land, forests got degraded and barren, which accelerated diminishing of the most of the original characteristics of the forests of Vegetation of Nagaland.
- This calls for an urgent action to prevent further degradation of forest resource and to inculcate sustainable life style among the people.
- According to the report, the main reason for decrease in forest cover in the state is biotic pressure, particularly the shortening of shifting cultivation cycle.
- Nagaland state is endowed with rich biodiversity. Its beautiful landscape has luxuriant forest vegetation with high density of flora, plentiful number of species. Hence considered as one of the floristic hotspot in India.
- It lies between 25° 6´ and 27°4´ N of latitude, 93°20´ E and 95°15´ E longitude which is generally a sub-tropical climatic zone
- The state has a total land area of 16, 57,583 hectares; out of which forest occupy an area approximately 8, 62,930 hectares.
- Beautiful suitable environmental conditions coupled with varying physiographical features favours the natural habitat for a large number of orchid species.
- Of the many species of flora, family orchidaceae represents the most distinguished and diverse flowering plants of the state adding another status to the natural beauty
- Nagaland has several types of forests, mainly because the state is mostly tropical, and the altitudes range from a few hundred meters to about four thousand meters.
- The major types of forests found in the state, as per the classification of Champion & Seth, are as follows.
Northern Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest
- These forests once covered the Namsa-Tizit area but now only a small vistge is found in th Zankam area.
- It is found only in Mon District.
- The dominanat species in this type of forest are Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus), Makai (Shorea assamica), Nahor (Mesua ferrea) etc.
Northern Tropical Semi Evergreen Forest
- These types of forests are found in the foothills of Assam-Nagaland border in Mokokchung, Wokha and Kohima Districts.
- The species that make up this forest are similar to those of the Northern Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests.
- The only difference is that in the former case the evergreen species dominate though there are deciduous species like Bhelu (Tetrameles nudiflora), Paroli (Stereospermum chelonoides), Jutuli (Altingia excels) etc, whereas in the present case, the number of evergreen species decreases and the deciduous species are more in number.
Northern Sub-Tropical Broad Leave Wet Hill Forests
- These types of forests are found in the hill areas below 1800m and above 500m in all the districts of Nagaland.
- The wet evergreen species are conspicuous by their absence and the dominant species are mostly semi-deciduous.
- Some of the important timber species in this type are Koroi, Pomas, Sopas, Gamari, Hollock, Sam, Am, Badam, Betula etc.
Northern Sub-Tropical Pine Forest
- These types of forests are found in hills with evalution of 1000m to 1500m in parts of Phek and Tuensang Districts of Nagaland.
- Pine is the dominant species, and is found mixed with Quercus, Schima, Prunus, Betula and Rhododendron.
Northern Montana Wet Temperate Forests
- These types of forests are found on the higher reaches of the tallest mountains (above 2500m) like Saramati and Dzükou area.
- The species that dominate are Rhododendron, Oaks, Birch and Juniperus sp.
- Alpine vegetation is found at high altitudes in ridges of Saramati range, which remains covered with snow for major part of the year from October to April.
- After melting of the snow during the brief summer a few annuals, herbs and shrubs along with mosses can be seen growing there.
- Species of Rhododendron, Abies, and Juniperus are found in sub alpine vegetation gradually merges into alpine vegetation which comprises of high altitude grasses and dwarf Rhododendrons.
- Many members of Primulaceae, Saxifragaceae, and Polygonaceae families are also found.
Biodiversity hotspot of Vegetation of Nagaland:
- Biodiversity hot-spot areas identified in the State are Saramati, Helipong, Tizit Valley, Longkhum, Meinkong, Changikong, Mount Tiyi, Baghty Valley, Japfu, Shilloi Lake, Dzulekie, Janglangshu & Manaksha area, Akhunato area, Mount Pauna Range, Mount Kissa Range, Intangki NP, Fakim WLS and Singphan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Bamboo resources in the Vegetation of Nagaland:
- Bamboo is found extensively all over the State as a predominant plant in the foothill regions of Peren, Dimapur, Wokha, Mon and Mokokchung districts.
- It also occurs mixed with other forest species in other districts of the State.
- The State’s bamboo resource accounts for 5% of the national bamboo resource which amounts to 0.0448 million hectares or 4,48,000 hectares.
- So far 46 species of bamboos have been reported from the State.
- The predominant species found are Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Bambusa tulda, Bambusa pallida, Schizostychum dullooa.
- With the revival of Tuli Paper Mill and promotion of other bamboo enterprises the resource requirement of the State is estimated at 5 lakh MT per annum.
Forest Cover Map of Nagaland
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