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Vegetation Maps of the Western Ghats


This is a theme page for vegetation maps of the Western Ghats

These maps are all derived from the Forest maps of South India series of the French Institute of Pondicherry. They are all originally drawn on a scale of 1:250,000 covering the forest regions the Western Ghats.

The Forest Maps of South India were made between 1982 and 2002 covering the Western Ghats in six sheets. In addition, the collection on the portal have a few other maps done on specific projects in the Western Ghats.

Vegetation Map IndexIn a dynamic landscape of the Western Ghats, the forest are on continuously changing with pressures from population growth, pressures from hydro-electric projects and currently infrastructure, roads, power and mining projects. There are considerable protected areas and conservation sites all along the Western Ghats that maintain and sustain healthy forest vegetation. Current focus of various conservation measures on the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot have initiated measures to consolidate information on the Biodiversity of the Western Ghats and publish the information on this portal.

The vegetation maps of the Western Ghats are a synthesis of different types of information and drawn from different sources. These maps are based on the experience gained from the earlier mapping scheme done at a 1:1,000,000 done in the 1970s. The current maps added the dimension of structure or physiognomy of the forest that seems to better capture the dynamism and various degradation stages of the forest. These maps also used the LANDSAT satellite imagery that added considerable accuracy to the limits of the vegetation types. The maps have been drawn from extensive field  and botanical studies of the Western Ghats. And they have been diligently drawn by the cartographers at the French Institute of Pondicherry. For details on the Forest Maps of South India, please see the Explanatory note (link).

The maps have been adapted to the web with a classification scheme that is consistent and uniform across all vegetation maps of the Forest Maps of South India. This will provide a uniform set of maps and categories. All the vegetation maps have three main themes:

  1. Major Forest Types and Formations related to Bioclimate
  2. Floristic types and major major forest types
  3. Forest type formations based on physiognomy
Thus each Forest Map of South India is separated into three layers and published on the portal. These layers can be overlaid in the map application to combine the floristic types with the physiognomy type or structure of the forest. For details of these themes and their classification legend see (link)


1. Belgaum-Dharwar-Panaji. J.-P. Pascal with the collaboration of Shyam Sunder &
V.M. Meher-Homji, 1984.

Floristic Types - Belgaum Dharwad Panaji
2. Shimoga. J.-P. Pascal, with the collaboration of Shyam Sunder
& V.M. Meher-Homji, 1982.
3. Mercara-Mysore
J.-P. Pascal with the collaboration of Shyam Sunder &
V.M. Meher-Homji, 1982.
4. Explanatory booklet
(Common to the 3 maps)
J.-P. Pascal, 1986, 88 p., ill., tables.

5. Bangalore-Salem
J.-P. Pascal with the collaboration of B.R. Ramesh &
K. Kichenassamy, 1992.

6. Notes on the sheet Bangalore-Salem
J.-P. Pascal & B.R. Ramesh, 1996, 66 p.

7. Coimbatore-Thrissur
D. De Franceschi, B.R. Ramesh & J.-P. Pascal, 2002.

8. Thiruvananthapuram-Tirunelveli
B.R. Ramesh, D. De Franceschi & J.-P.Pascal, 1997.

9. combine_14class_vegetation
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10. kmtr
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Links to:
Each layer
Links to the explanatory booklet (Explanatory_Booklet_Hors_serie_18)
Link to web mapping (webmapping_demonstration)

Other documnets.