8 Major Forests of Pakistan

Pakistan consists of 8 Major forests and one largest man-made forest Changa Manga Forest. Forests in Pakistan are rich in flora and fauna. Details are discussed in the article.

Forests are an important part of any country and play an important role in maintaining ecological balance and economic growth of the country. Pakistan is not rich in forests and covers a total of 2% of forests all over the country. The oldest and largest Forest in Pakistan is Changa Manga Forest. However, The major forests of Pakistan include the following:

  • Alpine Forests
  • Littoral and Swamp Forests
  • Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests
  • Tropical Thorn Forests
  • Subtropical Forests
  • Subtropical Pine Forests
  • Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests
  • Himalayan Dry Temperate Forests

Forests in Pakistan are a great source of livelihood, particularly for the rural population. The resources include timber, fuelwood, medicinal plants, and non-timber forest products like honey and fruits. The rural population also earns through tourism due to the various wildlife parks and sanctuaries. Let’s discuss in detail the forests of Pakistan.

Changa Manga​

Changa Manga is the Largest artificial Forest in Pakistan​

Changa Manga is the largest artificial forest in the world. It is the oldest and first man-made forest in Pakistan. The forest consists of diverse species of flora and fauna. Changa Manga forest is located in Kasur district about 80 km southwest of Lahore. The forest covers 12,510 acres of land and is the largest wildlife reserve in Pakistan. Changa Manga forest is under the supervision of the Punjab Forest Department. Every month a large number of people visit the place. A famous lunar lake is located in the Changa Manga Forest. You can also enjoy recreational activities like picnics, swimming, boating, and Cantilever bridges. largest artificial

Alpine Forests

Alpine forests are found in highly elevated areas throughout the Himalayas at about 3,350m. Alpine Forests are divided into two types named as the sub-alpine forests and alpine scrub.

Location of Alpine Forests in Pakistan

Alpine forests are located in the areas of Swat, Dir, Gilgit, and Chitral. The species of trees include the Bhuj, Birch, and Abies Spectabilis.

Littoral & Swamp Forests

Littoral and Swamp forests are also named Mangrove Forests. These forests have trees with low heights and include the species of Avicennia Marina and Rhizopora.

Location Of Littoral & Swamp Forests in Pakistan

Mangrove Forests grow near the Arabian Sea. So, the swamps are found around the beaches in Sindh, Karachi, Pasni, and Balochistan.

Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests

Tropical Dry forests include the plant species that shed their leaves annually and grow to a moderate height. These forests are dense during the monsoon season and have similar floristic composition to the other tropical forests.

Location of Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests

These tropical dry forests are rare and found only near the Rawalpindi foothills of Pakistan. These forests consist of acacia, plum trees, Lannea, bombax ceiba, and Mallotus.

Tropical Thorn Forests

These forests are the branches of the dry forests and have scrub-like vegetation. These Thorny forests have a few of the main characteristic features. They grow in forests having rainfall of less than 70 cm and have thorny shrubs with long roots to keep them hydrated.

Location Of Tropical Thorn Forests

Thorny Forests are mostly found in the Punjab Plains and a few areas of Southern Sindh and Western Balochistan. These forests include Acacias, Palms, and cacti.

Subtropical Forests

Tropical Dry forests include the plant species that shed their leaves annually and grow to a moderate height. These forests are dense during the monsoon season and have similar floristic composition to the other tropical forests.

Location of Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests

These tropical dry forests are rare and found only near the Rawalpindi foothills of Pakistan. These forests consist of acacia, plum trees, Lannea, bombax ceiba, and Mallotus.

Subtropical Pine Forests

These are diverse species of coniferous plants and are also known as the Himalayan Subtropical forests. These forests are home to pine trees and are much more prone to forest fires.

Location of the Subtropical Pine Forests

Pine forests can withstand climatic conditions and are found at elevations of  900 – 1700 meters above sea level in the Western Himalayas or Punjab Himalayas.

Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests

These forests are best known for their evergreen conifers and other species. Himalayan moist forests are home to the Pakistani national Deodar. These forests are popular due to the oak trees and deciduous broad-leaved trees.

Location of Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests

These forests are located in the Western Himalayas at a height of 1500 – 3000 above sea level. These are not found in the northwest where the rainfall is less than 1000m.

Himalayan Dry Temperate Forests

These forests consist of both coniferous and broad-leaved plants. Himalayan Dry forests are open, evergreen forests and are scrubby in nature. Several communities of the blue pine can also be found in the higher tracts of the forests. The forests of blue pine, abhal, shupa, and shur are found in the dry inner tracts.

Location of Himalayan dry temperate forests

The dry Himalayan forests are found in the Northwestern Himalayan Range where the temperature is usually dry. Plant species include Dry zone deodar, Pinus gerardiana, and quercus ilex.

Forests In Pakistan FAQs

  • Which is the largest forest in Pakistan?

Changa Manga Forest is the largest forest in Pakistan. It is located about 80 km from Lahore. 

  • How many forests are in Pakistan?

Pakistan consists of 8 major forests.

  • Alpine Forests
  • Littoral and Swamp Forests
  • Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests
  • Tropical Thorn Forests
  • Subtropical Forests
  • Subtropical Pine Forests
  • Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests
  • Himalayan Dry Temperate Forests

Conclusion

Forests in Pakistan are only about 2%. But, the exact estimation of forest land is still controversial. Every year, due to deforestation, people’s activities, and building purposes forests are becoming fewer in Pakistan.

Changa Manga Forest is the largest forest in Pakistan whereas, 8 other major forests in Pakistan are also present these include the tropical, subtropical, Mangrove, and Himalayan forests.