Endangered forest type: Tropical dry evergreen forest (TDEF), Coromandel Coast, southern India

Author(s): N Dhatchanamoorthy

Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF) was first recognized by Wimbush in 1935 then the Chief Conservator of Forest of Madras Presidency. He stated it in his classical paper on The Forest of Southern India, published in Madras College Magazine as: “On approaching the Coast for instance in Kancheepuram, Kurumbaram, Point Calimere, Kuzhanthaikuppam, Thirumanikuzhi, Puthupet, Arasadikuppam, Oorani and Pitchandikulam significance areas, a type of forest is met which is semi-evergreen in characters”. The term TDEF was first used by Champion in the famous classical book on the forest types of India first published in 1936. The revised edition of this book was later published by Champion and Seth in 1968.
Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest occur as a thin patch, along the coast of India extending from Vishakapatanam to Ramanathapuram to a stretch of about a length of 1, 800 km and a width of about 60 km; it covers a total area of 1, 08, 000 km2. Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest occurs in three different habitats namely i) along the sandy coast, ii) Interior coastal plains, with red laterite soil and iii) Isolated hillocks that are scattered along the coast.