The Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests are unique forests that can only be found in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Its distribution is limited to a short coastal strip that stretches from Vishakapattinam in Andhra Pradesh to Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu in the south
- Along the coasts of Tamil Nadu.
- Annual rainfall of 100 cm [mostly from the north-east monsoon winds in October – December].
- Mean annual temperature is about 28°C.
- The mean humidity is about 75 per cent.
- The growth of evergreen forests in areas of such low rainfall is a bit strange.
- Short statured trees, up to 12 m high, with complete canopy.
- Bamboos and grasses not conspicuous.
- The important species are jamun, tamarind, neem, etc.
- Most of the land under these forests has been cleared for agriculture or casuarina plantations.
- Casuarina plantations: They are rapid-growing, carefree species for sites and climates as varied as coastal sand dunes, high mountain slopes, hot humid tropics, and semi-arid regions.
Protected Areas of Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest
- Reserves and protected areas cover 2% of the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests. A further 6% is forested but not protected.
- Temple groves and restricted forests are among the many tiny forest areas.
- Guindy National Park in Chennai District, as well as Nanmangalam and Vandalur Reserve Forests in Kanchipuram District, are protected areas.
- The Marakkanam reserve forest in Villupuram District encompasses the three forest regions of Marakkanam, Kurumpuram, and Agaram.
- The Point Calimere Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary has a 17.26-square-kilometer enclave of dry evergreen forest, mangroves, and tidal wetlands.
Threats to Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest
- 95 % of the natural forest cover has been destroyed, and the species composition of the remaining forests has been altered by heavy human use, which includes the removal of all taller trees.
- Since the ecoregion contains the metropolis of Chennai (Madras) as well as a number of other cities such as Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Kanchipuram, and Nellore, urbanization has a stronger negative impact.
- Agricultural fields are encroaching on the area, wildlife poaching is rampant, the neighboring forests are vanishing, and commercial prawn farming is on the rise.
Also Read : Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests