Geographical Features & Forest Area

 

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Jammu and Kashmir has a geographic area of 101387 Sq. Kms. It lies between Latitude 32°17’ and 37°05’ North and longitude 72°31’ and 80°20’ East. The State is divided into three geographic regions viz. Ladakh, Kashmir Valley and Jammu. The higher regions are covered by Pir Panjal, Karakoram and inner Himalayan ranges of mountains. The important river systems of the State are the Chenab, the Tawi and the Jhelum.

Features

Unit

Geographical area

101387 * Sq.Km

Forest area

20230 Sq.Km

(* Excluding 120849 Sq. Km area under illegal occupation of Pakistan and China)

%age of forest area to geographical area.

(a) Jammu region

45.89 %

(b) Kashmir region

50.97 %

© Ladakh region

0.06 %

Total J&K State:

19.95 %

Per capita land area

1.05 Ha

Per capita forest area

0.20 Ha

Districts

22 Nos.

Villages

a) Inhabited

6417 Nos.

b) Un-Inhabited

235    Nos.

Towns/Cantonments of J&K State

75  **   Nos.

Municipalities

3        Nos.

Literacy 55.52 %

** Including two cantonments Areas of Jammu and Srinagar

(Source: - Forest Digest-2005 & Digest of Statistics(DES)

Forests of the state are spread over three broad geo-climatic zones covering Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions of the State. Vegetation and climate can broadly be categorized into sub-tropical, temperate and alpine zones with wide diversity of fauna and flora. More than 50% of the plant species used in British pharmacopoeia are reported to grow in Jammu and Kashmir. Literature indicates that 572 plant species belonging to 109 different families have medicinal value.

The recorded Forest area is 20230 Sq. Kms. which constitutes 19.95 % of geographical area of the State. Forests are largely distributed in Kashmir Valley and Jammu regions. Leh and Kargil are devoid of Forest Vegetation as the region is cold desert.
There are five forest types occurring in the State Viz. Subtropical Dry Evergreen, Himalayan Moist Temperate, Himalayan Dry Temperate, Subtropical Pine and Sub-alpine and alpine Forests.

Region

District

Geographical
Area
(Sq. Km.)

Population

Density per Sq,Km

Forest
Area
(Sq. Km.)

% Age
of col.4
to col.3

a) Kashmir

1. Srinagar

2228

12,02,447

540

380

17.06

2. Budgam

1371

6,29,309

459

477

34.79

3.Anantnag

3984

11,72,434

294

2068

51.91

4.Pulwama

1398

7,52,607

467

810

57.94

5.Baramulla

4588

11,69,780

255

2690

58.63

6.Kupwara

2379

6,50,393

273

1703

71.58

Sub-total
 Kashmir: -

15948

 

54,76,970

 

8128

50.97

b) Jammu

1. Doda 

11691

6,91,929

59

5555

47.52

2. Udhampur

4550

7,43,509

163

2343

51.49

3. Kathua

2651

5,50,084

207

991

37.38

4. Poonch

1674

3,72,613

223

951

56.81

5. Rajouri

2630

4,83284

184

1267

48.17

6. Jammu

3097

15,88,772

513

959

30.97

Sub-total
Jammu: -

26293

 

44,30,191

-

12066

45.89

c) Ladakh
  

1. Leh

45110

1,17,232

3

29

0.06

2. Kargil

14036

1,19,307

8

7

0.05

Sub-total
 Ladakh: -

59146

 

2,36,539

 

36

0.06

 

Total
 J&K State:

101387

 

1,01,43,700

 

20230

19.95

 

FOREST COVER OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

The forest cover of the state as per State of Forest Report 2003 issued by Forest Survey of India is 24214 sq kms which is 110 sq km less than the 2001 assessment. As per the report 1351 sq km of dense forests has degraded to either open forest, scrub or non-forest.

Forest Cover Change Matrix

Area in Sq. Km

2001
Assessment

2003 Assessment

Total
 2001

Dense
 Forests

Open
Forests

Scrub

Non-
Forest

Dense Forests

9790

1789

33

236

11848

Open Forests

550

8093

388

358

9389

Scrub

22

266

2475

324

3087

Non-Forest

135

622

51

197104

197912

Total 2003

10497

10770

2947

198022

222236**

Net Change

-1351*

1381

-140

110

 

Source – State of Forest Report 2003

The decrease in dense forest cover is due to two reasons i.e. real changes as well as interpretational changes. The real decrease in dense forest cover is due to loss in forest area. Interpretational changes between subsequent assessments are due to reflectance of agricultural/ horticultural crops, which give reflectance similar to that of forest cover.
** Includes 120848 Sq.Km Area outside LOC

Forest cover as per satellite data interpretation

Area in Sq. Km

S.No

Forest cover Class

Forest Cover inside LOC

Forest Cover outside LOC

Total of 3 class

1

Very Dense

1557

545

2102

2

Moderately dense

6326

2069

8395

3

Open forest

7712

3058

10770

4

Total Forest

15595

5672

21267

Source – State of Forest Report 2003.