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| Last Updated:: 18/02/2021



 | Types of Forest    | Sacred Groves    | Mangroves   |




The mangrove forests of Kerala can be divided district wise viz., Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Allepey.



This is the northern most district of Kerala state and exhibits luxuriant mangrove forests which cover almost 80 % of the total mangrove forests of the state. This district can be divided in four forest ranges, namely, Kasargod, Taliparamba, Kottiyur and Kanhangad.


Kasargod range

            In this range 13.4 ha mangrove plantation is present in the backwaters near to the forest range office itself. The plantation was done in the year 2003 and the species planted are mainly Rhizophora apiculata and Kandelia candel. Another moderately dense patch of mangrove forest is present near NH-17, just 15 km before Mangalore. This area exhibits different species like Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Kandelia candel, Excoecaria agallocha and Rhizophora apiculata in an area of 56.6 ha.


Taliparamba range

            In this range flourishing mangrove forests can be seen all along the Pattuvam and Pariyangadi rivers. In the Pattuvam river area pure patches of Rhizophora apiculata along the creek and dominant Avicennia marina on the inner side are present. In the same area community of Sonneratia alba, Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Rhizophora apiculata, Myriostachya wightiana and Kandelia candel are also present with 40 to 70 % density. In the Dahlil and Cherukkunu village areas a 6 km long stretch of mixed mangroves (Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera parviflora, Acanthus ilicifolius and Excoecaria agallocha) is present along the Pariyangadi river.


Kottiyur range

In this range moderately dense mangrove is present at a place known as Koduvelli. The mangrove species present in this area are Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Sonneratia alba and Rhizophora apiculata ranging from 40- 70 % density.


Kanhangad range

In this range the mangrove forest is present at few areas, namely, Eadaillakad, Madakkal and Thalankara. The mangrove species present are Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Rhizophora apiculata and Acanthus ilicifolius ranging from 10-70 % density.


The majority of the mangrove forests of Kannur division lie in the Vallapatnam bridge area where the mangroves are present in a vast area in very good condition. The species present in the area are mainly Avicennia officinalis and Rhizophora apiculata with 40 to 70 % density. In the same area 5000 seedlings were planted by the forest department in 2006.


In the Vellikkel area a mixed patch of Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Excoecaria agallocha, Kandelia candel, Rhizophora apiculata, Sonneratia alba and Acrostichum aureum is present with 40 to 70 % density.



In this district mangroves are present at Kadalundi area, where Avicennia officinalis is the dominant species. Other mangrove species present in the area are Avicennia marina, Acrostichum aureum and Kandelia candel with 40-70 % density.



In this district mangroves are present mainly at three sites viz., Pithuvypin, Mangalvanam Bird Sanctuary and Kundannur area.


Puthuvypin area

In this area on one side high density mangrove patches and on the other side completely degraded mangroves can be seen clearly. The cause of the degradation is the construction work going on in the area by the BPCL and LNG Petronet Project (Central Govt. Project). The construction work has cutoff the salt water supply to the mangroves, thereby, causing complete deterioration. Avicennia marina and Avicennia officinalis are the dominant species in the high density mangrove patches. Rhizophora apiculata is also present, but is less common.


Mangalvanam Bird Sanctuary

In the Mangalvanam Bird Sanctuary near the Kerala High Court, 2.74 ha area is occupied by mangrove flora with good height, but the patches are sparsely dense. The species present in this area are Avicennia officinalis, Rhizophora mucronata, Acrostichum aureum, Acanthus ilicifolius and Bruguiera parviflora.


Kundannur area

In the Kundannur area a very small mixed patch of Avicennia officinalis, Bruguiera sexangula and Acanthus ilicifolius is present with 10 to 40 % density.



In this district mangroves are present at only one place i.e, Kumarakom. The species present in the area are mainly Avicennia marina with some trees of A. officinalis in degraded form. The density of the mangrove patch is around 0 to 10 %.



In this district mangroves are present at three places, namely, Adventure Park Ashramam (Ashtamudi lake area), Mandroruth islands and Kumbalam area.


Adventure Park Ashramam

At this place big trees of mangrove species are present, but very few in numbers and mixed with other vegetation. The place had dense mangrove patches in the past but because of human intervention it got degraded. The mangrove species present in the area are Sonneratia caeseolaris, Bruguiera parviflora and Thespesia populnea.


Munroturuttu area (commonly known as Munro islands)

Only two mangrove and mangrove associate species namely, Excoecaria agallocha and Acrostichum aureum are present and that too with sparse density.


Kumbalam area

In this area mangrove is present at privately owned land. At this place Excoecaria agallocha and Rhizophora apiculata are present in regenerating stage along with Acanthus ilicifolius.


Mangrove communities of Kerala

Kerala state is classified into five mangrove communities. Avicennia and Rhizophora species are the prominent constituents of the different communities in almost all the mangrove forests in Kerala.


Rhizophora apiculata - Moderately Dense

This community is found in almost all the areas along the river banks like in Kasargode, Kottiyur and Vallapatnam areas and Pariyangadi river.


Kandelia candel - Rhizophora apiculata - Moderately Dense

This community is present only at the Kasargode Range office area where plantation was done by the forest department in an area of 13.4 ha.


Excoecaria agallochaAcrostichum aureum - Sparse

This community is present in sparsely dense patches covering small areas only at a place named Munroturuttu in Munro islands along the Ashtamudi Lake.


Mixed mangroves

Assemblage of mangrove species comprising mainly of Avicennia officinalis, A. marina, Rhizophora mucronata, R. apiculata, Sonneratia caseolaris, S. alba, Aegiceras corniculatum and Excoecaria agallocha are commonly found along the river banks in areas like Pariyangadi, Kunjhimangalam, Vallapatnam, Mangalvanam Sanctuary, Puthuvypin area etc. in moderately dense and sparse conditions.


            According to the present classification, Kerala has a mangrove cover of 6.63 km2 contributed by five mangrove communities. Density-wise, moderately dense mangroves cover the maximum area (Figure 1). ‘Mixed mangroves-Moderately dense’ is found to be the most widely distributed community accounting to about 259.26 ha (Table 1). Mixed mangroves -Sparse ranks second in area statistics (187.89 ha), followed by Rhizophora apiculata- Moderately dense (97.92 ha). A small area of 26.90 ha is recorded as ‘degraded’ based on the canopy cover density (less than 10 %) which is solely contributed by mixed mangroves community.

Fig. 1: Density-wise area statistics of Kerala




Table 1: Mangrove communities of Kerala

Mangrove Communities

Area in Hectares

R. apiculata - Moderately dense


K. candel – R. apiculata Moderately dense


R. apiculata Sparse


E. agallocha A. aureum Sparse


Mixed mangroves - Moderately dense


Mixed mangroves - Sparse


Mixed mangroves - Degraded






FSI Report 2017 (Mangrove Cover)


FSI Report 2019 (Mangrove Cover)


Mangroves of Kerala


Source:  Coastal Zones of India, Published by Space Application Centre (ISRO) Ahemadabad