Forests in Kerala

Kerala is known as “God’s Own Country” due to its serene and placid backwaters, milky-white waterfalls, exquisite flora and fauna, rare wildlife reserves, lush and green landscapes and beautiful beaches. The forests found in the state are blessed with a thick, green growth of wonderful plants and trees. The kinds of vegetation found in Kerala are not found anywhere else in the country because the soil here is very unique and fertile. Forests of tropical nature and grasslands dominate the dense forests of Kerala. The heterogeneous topography of Kerala with its quiet mountains and steep valleys has resulted in different climatic conditions of Kerala. The flora, fauna and avifauna found in the forests of Kerala are protected to the maximum possible extent, with the able help and support of the Kerala State Government. These flora, fauna and wild animals are the ones that had migrated to Kerala long back from different parts of the country and the world.

The forests are covered with a perennial green colour because of the pleasant climate and moderate to heavy rainfall that the state receives all through the year. The green cover of the forests, combined with exquisite flora and fauna prove to be big tourist attractions for the tourists. The state is also home to many wildlife reserves. Tourists who are interested in natural beauty and wildlife viewing find Kerala to be the ideal location.

Most of the forests of Kerala are scattered all over the Western Ghats, which is these mountain ranges are one of the eighteen highly-desirable biodiversity locations. This is the place where tourists can find exquisite species of flora and fauna that have almost become extinct or are in the process of becoming extinct. There are 28 different types of vegetation in Kerala alone, though only a few varieties are seen today. 49% of this vegetation is spread over the northern and central areas of Kerala, whereas 51% of this vegetation is spread over the southern areas of Kerala. While Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts have the thickest growth of vegetation, Alappuzha district doesn’t have any vegetation growth at all.

The State Government of Kerala has been involved in many initiatives and measures for protecting the wildlife, flora and fauna. One such measure was prohibiting tree-felling of the forests during 1983. Afforestation has been encouraged to a great extent by the State Government with the able support of many multinational organisations like the World Bank. Some of the other developmental measures undertaken by the Government to protect these natural forests are forestry- enhancement programmes, compensatory and community afforestation.

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