India's Forest Cover Increases

India's forest cover in creased by 3,775 square km since 2013, taking the total to 701,673 sq km, or 70.17 million hectares, equivalent to 21.34% of the country's geographical area.
In the very dense forest category the thickest and oldest of fores patches, an increase of 2,402 sq km was offset by a shrinking of 3,371 sq. km in moderately dense forest areas, according to the India State of Forest Report 2015.
There were worrying signs for the northeastern states, an area that accounts for one-fourth of the coun try's forest cover. The report, published by the Forest Survey of India noted that “there is a net decline of 628 sq. km in forest cover as compared to the previous assessment.“
Similar trends were observed in the 2013 forest report, where both the northeastern states and the moderately dense forest areas recorded a decline in cover. India now has no more than nine contiguous uninterrupted forest patches measuring over 10,000 hectares.
“The nine forest patches constitute 39.84% of India's total forest cover. Another 13% area is covered by forest patches measuring 5,000-10,000 hectares. Overall, this means that 79% of the total forest area in the country is covered by uninterrupted patches of at least 11 sq. km. This is very good news, showing forest size is not decreasing and it is also a great challenge to maintain this,“ said Dr Anmol Kumar, Director General of the Forest Survey of India.
While forest cover in core and buffer areas of Corbett National Park rose in 1990-2000, it fell in 2000-10 due to flooding of rivers and rotational felling. In Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, there is a positive change in the forest cover.

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