mangrove forest in india

Master Mangrove Forest in India 2022 with Map

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Mangrove forest

Mangroves are salt-tolerant plant communities found in tropical and subtropical intertidal regions of the world. Such areas are characterized by high rainfall (between 1,000 to 3,000 mm) and temperature (ranging between 26°C-35°C). Mangrove species including mangrove forest in India have a wide range of adaptations in their morphology, anatomy, and physiology to help them survive in waterlogged soils, high salinity, and storms and tide surges.

Mangroves are coastal trees that can be found in tropical and subtropical areas. They are unique because they grow in salt water and their pneumatophores (air roots) allow them to breathe even when the water is high. Mangroves provide a number of benefits, including acting as a natural barrier against storms and floods, protecting coastal habitats, and providing a nursery for marine life.

mangrove forest
mangrove forest

The term “mangrove” is derived from the Portuguese word “mangue,” which means “tree,” and the English word “grove,” which refers to trees and shrubs found in shallow, sandy, or muddy areas. Mangroves have prop roots that arise from the trunk and descend into the water. These stilt roots serve as anchors in muddy substrates and also absorb nutrients from the water. Mangroves are important nursery habitats for many marine species, including shrimp, crabs, and fish. They also play a critical role in coastal erosion control and storm damage mitigation.

Mangroves are important places for coastal bio-diversity to hide. They also act as bio-shields to protect against extreme weather events like floods. Mangrove ecosystems are used by a lot of people, mostly in rural areas, for a wide range of biomass-based jobs.

Threat to Mangrove forest

Biotic pressure and natural disasters have a significant negative impact on Mangrove ecosystems. Growing land reclamation for agriculture and industry along coasts, as well as the discharge of untreated home sewage and industrial effluents, are threatening these trees. Upstream actions such as river training and natural erosion and accretion have an impact on the health of mangroves because the appropriate biological flow in rivers is required to flush silt and other pollutants from the mangroves. Many studies have highlighted these issues, and extensive conservation efforts are required to assure the survival of these vulnerable ecosystems.

Mangrove Forest Cover Worldwide

As per Global Forest Resource Assessment, 2020 (FRA 2020), world over, 113 countries have Mangrove forests covering an estimated 14.79 million hectares.

The largest Mangrove Forest area 2021 is reported in

Asia5.55 million hectares
Africa3.24 million hectares
North and Central America2.57 million hectares
South America2.13 million hectares
Oceania1.30 million hectares

More than 40 percent of the total area of Mangroves was reported to be in just four countries:

Indonesia19 percent of the total
Brazil9 percent
Nigeria7 percent
Mexico6 percent

Most Important Protected Areas

32 Elephant Reserves in IndiaBiodiversity hotspots in India
40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites IndiaCritically Endangered Species in India
49 Ramsar sites in IndiaMangrove sites in India
53 Tiger reserves in IndiaVulture in India

Types of mangrove forest in india

Mangroves offer habitats for a diverse range of species. According to the Champion and Seth Classification, mangrove forest in india are classified as Type Group-4 Littoral & Swamp Forests and are sub-classfied as.

  • Littoral forest,
  • Mangrove scrub,
  • Mangrove forest,
  • Saltwater mixed forest (Heritiera)
  • Brackish water mixed forest (Heritiera)

Important species of mangrove forest in india include

  • Avicennia officinalis,
  • Rhizophora mucronata,
  • Sonneratia alba,
  • Avicennia alba,
  • Bruguiera cylindrica,
  • Heritiera littoralis,
  • Phoenix paludosa,
  • Morinda citrifolia.

Conservation of mangrove forest in India

Mangrove ecosystems are under ongoing threat in most nations due to the increasing human population in coastal areas and rising demand for land, wood, fodder, firewood, and other nonwood forest products. Appropriate management strategies are essential for efficient Mangrove conservation.

Sunderban is the world’s biggest single patch of Mangrove Forests, located in the northern Bay of Bengal. Sundarban, which spans around 10,000 square kilometres in Bangladesh and India, was the world’s first Mangrove forest to be scientifically managed, beginning in 1892.

Recognizing the significance of mangroves, the Government of India established a National Mangroves Committee in 1976 to advise the government on problems concerning the conservation and development of mangrove forest in india. The Committee stressed the importance of conducting a survey of the country’s current Mangrove regions. Following it, the government devised a plan for mangrove conservation and protection.

Spread of Mangrove forest in India

The South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal exclusively accounts for 41.74 % of the mangrove forest in india.

On satellite photos, mangroves have a distinct tone and texture. The government of India has classified the mangrove forest in india as

  • Very Dense (canopy density of 70% and above).
  • Moderately Dense (canopy density of 40% and more but less than 70%).
  • Open categories (canopy density of 10% and more but less than 40%).
mangrove forest in india
mangrove forest in india
mangroves sites in india map
mangroves sites in india map

Mangrove forest in india (2021 Assessment)

According to the government’s current estimation for 2021, Mangrove forest in india is 4,992 square kilometres or 0.15 per cent of the country’s overall geographical area.

  • Very Dense Mangrove – 1,475 sq km (29.55 %)
  • Moderately Dense Mangrove – 1,481 sq km (29.67 %) 
  • Open Mangroves – 2,036 sq km (40.78 %). 

Mangrove forest in india has increased by 17 square kilometres since the last evaluation in 2019.

Odisha (8 sq km) and Maharashtra (4 sq km) have seen considerable increases in mangrove coverage.

The reason for the growth in Mangrove cover in Odisha is mostly due to natural regeneration and plantation efforts on suitable terrain such as river banks along the estuary and intertidal mud-flats linked with locations that are inundated by seawater on a daily cycle. Mangrove forest cover has increased in State Odisha in districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, and Balasore.

The rise in Mangrove cover in Maharashtra is primarily due to natural regeneration. The rise has also been noted in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas area.

SI. No.State/UTVery Dense MangroveModerately Dense MangroveOpen MangroveTotalChange with respect to ISFR 2019
9West Bengal9946924282,1142
3Gujarat01691,0061,175-2
10A&N Islands399168496160
1Andhra Pradesh02131924051
6Maharashtra0902343244
7Odisha8194842598
8Tamil Nadu12717450
2Goa0216271
4Karnataka0211133
5Kerala05490
11D&NH and Daman & Diu00330
12Puducherry00220
Total1,4751,4812,0364,99217
Source: ISFR 2021

Here is the list of all 38 Mangroves sites in India in 2021 according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) (Source: Annual Report MoEF&CC 2020-21). The highest number of mangroves sites in a state is in Maharashtra that is 10 and second on list with 7 sites is Orissa. Also, the four Coral Reef Sites of India is at the end of the article.

Mangroves sites in India

 State/Union TerritoriesMangrove Sites
1West BengalSunderbans
2OrissaBhaitarkanika
3OrissaMahanadi
4OrissaSubernarekha
5OrissaDevi
6OrissaDhamra
7OrissaMangrove Genetic Resources Centre
8OrissaChilka
9Andhra PradeshCoringa
10Andhra PradeshEast Godavari
11Andhra PradeshKrishna
12Tamil NaduPichavaram
13Tamil NaduMuthupet
14Tamil NaduRamnad
15Tamil NaduPulicat
16Tamil NaduKazhuveli
17Andaman & NicobarNorth Andamans
18Andaman & NicobarNicobar
19KeralaVembanad
20KeralaKannur (Northern Kerala)
21KarnatakaCoondapur
22KarnatakaDakshin Kannada/Honnavar
23KarnatakaKarwar
24KarnatakaMangalore Forest Division
25GoaGoa
26MaharashtraAchra-Ratnagiri
27MaharashtraDevgarh-Vijay Durg
28MaharashtraVeldur
29MaharashtraKundalika-Revdanda
30MaharashtraMumbra-Diva
31MaharashtraVikroli
32MaharashtraShreevardhan
33MaharashtraVaitarna
34MaharashtraVasai-Manori
35MaharashtraMalvan
36GujaratGulf of Kutchh
37GujaratGulf of Khambhat
38GujaratDumas-Ubhrat
This Table contains the List of Mangroves sites in India in 2021 ( Source Annual Report 2020-21,
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change)

As of 2021 there are 4 Coral Reef Sites in India according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) (Source: Annual Report MoEF&CC 2020-21).

Coral Reef Sites in India

 StateSite
1GujaratGulf of Kutch
2Tamil NaduGulf of Mannar
3Andaman & NicobarAndaman and Nicobar Coral Reef
4LakshadweepLakshadweep
Coral Reef Sites in India --Source: Annual Report MoEF&CC 2020-21

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2 Comments

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