Due to a tropical hot and humid climate with abundant rains, all the major islands support a very luxuriant and rich vegetation. As per the State of Forest Report, 2003 published by the Forest Survey of India, 84.4% of the total geographic area of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is under forest cover. Of the total forest cover, 42.1% are very dense forest, 34.1% are moderately dense forest, 8.2% are open forest and mangrove constitute 9.6%. Island- wise and Category-wise forest cover is given in the following table:

Details of forest cover in A & N Islands

District/ Category (Area in Km2)
Geographical Area Very Dense Forest Mod. Dense Forest Open Forest Total Percent of GAChangeScrub
Andaman Group of Islands 6408 4535 580 230 5345 83.41 15 0
Nicobar Group of Islands 1841 1151 105 150 1406 76.37 25 1
Total 8249 5686 685 380 6751 81.84 40 1

Recorded Forest

Total area recorded (notified) as forests is 7170.69 sq.km. which constitute 86.93% of the geographic area of these islands.

District Wise Forest Area

Name of District Reserved ForestsProtected Forests Un-classed Forests Total (Area in Sq Km)
North & Middle Andaman 3320.82 0 0 3320.82
South Andaman 2291.61 16.19 0 2307.80
Nicobar 0 1542.07 0 1542.07
Total 5612.43 1558.26 0 7170.69

Division Wise Forest Area

S.No. Name of the Division Area in Sq km
Reserve Forest Protected Forest Un-classed Forest Total Area
1 Diglipur Forest Division 1171.60 NIL NIL 1171.60
2 Mayabunder Forest Division 926.96 NIL NIL 926.96
3 Middle Andaman Forest Division 857.12 NIL NIL 857.12
4 Baratang Forest Division 365.14 NIL NIL 365.14
5 Havelock Forest Division 281.7 NIL NIL 281.37
6 South Andaman Forest Division 1303.75 16.19 NIL 1316.94
7 Little Andaman Forest Division 706.49 NIL NIL 706.49
8 Nicobar Forest Division NIL 1542.07 NIL 1542.07
  Total 5612.43 1558.26 0 7170.69

Forest Types

Vegetation of these islands has been classified into following twelve forest types by Champion and Seth. However, these forest types are not distinctly demarcated and they imperceptibly merge into one another and form an intimate mixture.

  1. The Giant evergreen forests (1A/C1)

    Mostly occur in deep alluvial soil near the banks of larger streams

    Major species: Dipterocarpus spp., Calophyllum soulattri, Artocarpus chaplasha, Amoora wallichii etc.

  2. The Andaman Tropical Evergreen Forests (1A/C2) :

    Similar to the giant evergreen forests but not so luxurient and occur mostly on hilltops.

    Major species: Dipterocarpus grandiflorus, Xantho-phyllum andamanicum, Artocarpus chaplasha, Myristica andamanica etc.

  3. The Southern hilltop evergreen forests(1A/C3):

    occur on the exposed upper slopes and tops of hills and sometimes on steep slopes lower down.

    Major species: Dipterocarpus costatus, Mesua ferrea, Canarium manii, Hopea andamanica

  4. The Andaman semi-evergreen forests(2A/C1)

    are luxurient types of forests with many giant trees both of evergreen and deciduous nature. Climbers are often heavy. Occur in valleys.

    Major species: Pterocymbium tinctorium, Sterculia campanulata, Terminalia bialata, T.procera, Albizzia chinensis, A.lebbek

  5. The Andaman moist deciduous forests(3A/C1)

    are distributed extensively in Andamans but not that much in Nicobar group of Islands. Top storey is irregular with tall deciduous trees followed by a second storey which comprise numerous species including some evergreen trees.

    Major species: Pterocarpus dalbergioides, Terminalia bialata, T.Manii, T.procera, Pterocymbium tinctorium, Tetrameles nudiflora, Dillenia pentagyna etc.

  6. The Andaman secondary moist deciduous forests(3A/C1/2S1)

    occur in worked over areas of the primary type.

    Major species: anarium euphyllum, Pterocymbium tincto-rium, Salmalia insignis, Tetrameles nudiflora, Terminalia manii, T.procera, Albizzia lebbek etc.

  7. The Littoral forests(4A/L1)

    occur all round the coast wherever a fair width of sandy beach occurs.

    Major species: Manilkara littoralis is the most characteristic species of this type in these islands. Other species Scavela frutescens, Hibiscus tiliaceus, Morind citrifolia, Terminalia catappa, Pandanus tectorius etc.

  8. The Mangrove (Tidal swamp)forests(4B/TS2)

    occupy shores, mouth of creeks and inland channels of these islands. These are salt tolerant species and occupy 966 sq.km. area of these islands

    Major species: Rhizophora mucronata, R.can-delaria, Bruguiera conjugata, B.parviflora, Avicennia officinalis, Ceriops tagal, Kandelia candel, Sonneratia caseolaris, Excoecaria etc.

  9. The Brackish water mixed forests(4B/TS4)

    are considered finest development of tidal forests and may be a closed forest of 35 m height. These are found in larger deltas and creeks along the outer periphery and at places where salt water mixes with fresh water.

    Major species: Heriteria littoralis, Barringtonia racemosa, B.asiatica, Brownlowia lanceolata, Nypa fruticans, Phoenix paludosa etc.

  10. The Sub mountain hill valley swamp forests (4C/FS2)

    is an irregular forest of a limited number of mainly evergreen species. Trees are usually low, crowded and branchy.

    Major species: Dense growth of Calamus, while Ficus and monocotyledons such as Alpinia often form the undergrowth.

  11. The Cane brakes (1/E1)

    are found through out the evergreen and semi-evergreen climaxes and locally in moist deciduous forests. Cane brakes are impenetrable thorny thickets sometimes with a few tall trees.

    Major species: Calamus spp. and sometimes creeping bamboo - Dixochloa andamanica.

  12. The Wet bamboo brakes (I/E2)

    often very dense occuring throughout tropical evergreen racts of Andamans.

    Major species: Dendrocalamas brandisi, Oxytenthera spp, Bambusa schizostachyoides.