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Punjab is primarily an agricultural State, with 83% of the total geographical area under agriculture.Punjab has only 6.12 % of area (3,084 sq. km) of its geographical area as per India State of Forest Report, 2019. The forests in Punjab belong to three major forest types i.e. Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests, Tropical Thorn Forests and Subtropical Pine Forests which are further divided into seven Forest Types (Champion & Seth classification 1968). The Punjab forests present a kaleidoscopic spectrum of diverse vegetation types varying from the pine forests to thorn forests of deserts as per variations of altitude and climate.

The reserved, Protected and Un-classed Forests are 1.43%, 36.87% and 61.70% respectively, of the recorded forest area. The forest cover in the state is 1,848 sq km which is 3.67% of the state’s geographical area. In terms of forest canopy density classes, the state has 8 sq km under very dense forest, 806 sq km under moderately dense forest and 1,023 sq km under open forest.

Thirteen Wildlife Sanctuaries, four Conservation Reserves and three Community Reserves constitute the Protected Area network of the State covering 0.76% of its geographical area. The Community reserves of 'Lalwan' in Hoshiarpur and 'Keshopur-Chamb' in Gurdaspur districts are the first notified community reserves in the country under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Recorded Forest Area in Punjab

Reserve Forest

44 Sq. Km.

Protected Forest

1137 Sq. Km.

Unclassed Forest

1903 Sq. Km.


3084 Sq. Km.

Of Geographical Area


Of India’s Forest Area


Forest Cover of Punjab

Source: India State of Forest Report 2019

District wise forest cover in Punjab, 2017


  Source: Forest Survey India, 2013 & 2017

Factors affecting forest & wildlife in Punjab

  • Increased urbanization & industrialization 
  • Change in land use pattern
  • Degradation of natural habitat & pollution
  • Increased demand of timber
  • Climate change & deforestation
  • Invasive alien species especially Lantana camara, Parthenium hysterophorus & Eichhornia crassipa
  • Poaching & illegal trade of wildlife products
  • Forest fire and encroachments
  • Soil erosion in shivaliks tracts

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