Archive for category Indian States

Arunachal Pradesh



The forests of Arunachal Pradesh possess a phenomenal range of biological diversity, both in flor and fauna. The forests are also home to sizeable tribal population which continues to live in close association with nature and utilises a wide variety of forest resources for sustenance and livelihood. Nature has been exceedingly kind and has endowed this beautiful State of Arunachal Pradesh with diverse forests and magnificent wildlife. The richness of life forms i.e. the flora & fauna that occur in these forests presents a panorama of biological diversity with over 5000 plants, about  85 terrestrial mammals, over 500 birds and a large number of butterflies, insects and reptiles.The vegetation of Arunachal Pradesh falls under four broad climatic categories and can be classified in five broad forest types with a sixth type of secondary forests. These are tropical forests, sub-tropical forests, pine forests, temperate forests and alpine forests.




 These forests occur up to an elevation of 900 metres above MSL . They are persent in all the districts along the foothills . These forests can further be classified into two main types viz. tropical evergreen forests and tropical semi evergreen forests.


 This type of  forests occur in districts between altitudes 800m to 1900m. These are essentially evergreen and dense in nature. The trees attain large dimensions (25-40mhigh). The forests are rich in species diversity and dominated by Fagaceae members.   

    Castaniopsis lidica, C. armata, Quercus lamellose, Q. griffithili, Q. spicata, Q.Semiserrata, Q. fenestrala, Michelia  oblonga, Manglietia insignis, Ostodes paniculata,Ulmus lancifolium, Engelhardia spicata, Ficus spp. Acer oblongum, Schima wallichji,S.khasiana, etc. are the dominant tree species. Luxurious growth of climbers, orchids & ferns, occurs in these forests.

These forests extend both in the subtropical and temperate belt in between 1000 m to 1800 m elevation. These are generally met with in rain shadow area and are represented by three different sepecsies viz. Pinus roxburghii, P. wallichiana and P.merkusii.,

is found in Rupa and Dirang valley of Kameng district and forms either pure stands or occasionally mixed with P. wallichiana, Quercus spp, Prunus sp. Etc. P. wallichiana is widely distributed in Rupa, Dirang valley (Kameng district), Hapoli ( Lower Subansiri district), Mechuka (West Siang district), Anini (Dibang valley district). and Melinja ( Lohit district). In Kameng, Siang and Lower Subansiri district it is found in nearly pure stands or less frequently mixed with P. roxburghii, Quercus spp. Lyonia sp. Etc.
In Dibang valley they are found in association with Betula alnoides, Alnus nepalensis, Lyona ovalifolia, etc. In Lohit district it is less extensive and is associated with Tsuga dimosa, Pinus merkusii, occurs in Lohit district along the Lohit valley extending from Kharang (Hawal) to Dichu.

 Occur in all district as a continuous belt and can be divided into two subtypes viz.Temperate broad leaved forests and Temperate conifer forests.



 This type of vegetation occurs on the peaks of higher hills above an altitude of 4000 m upto 5500m above timber line. For major part of the year, the area is covered by snow and plant activity is restricted to a few months when snow melts.

As a rule there are no tall trees but dwarf branches and shrubs and mainly herbs with deep roots and cushioned leaves and branches. The profusion of bright coloured flowers which is purely seasonal for a brief period makes the area highly attractive. Plans like Rhododendron nivale., R. anthopogon, R. thomsonii, Sedum sp.., Festuca sp.., Rhodiola sp,.. Saxifraga sp. Saussaurea sp,. Arenaria sp,. Rheum sp. etc. form the major constituent of this peculiar vegetation.

 The common trees seen are Machranga denticulate, Mallotus tetracoccus, Callicarpa arbnorea, C. vestita, Bauhinia sp,. Glochidion spp, and shrubs like Clerodendrum spp. Randia sp. Rubus sp,. Viburnum sp. Croton caudatus, Capparis spp., Eurya acuminata, Dalbergia sp. etc. and also obnoxious weeds like Mikania micrantha, Eupatorium odoratum, etc.


 These are seen as bambaoo breakes up to 2000m altitude throughout the State,Bamboos grow mostly in pure stands with very less of associated species. Normallybamboos appear in areas abandoned after shifting cultivation, where they colonise fast.Bamboos of Arunachal Pradesh are Bambusa tulda, B. pallida, Dendrocalamushamiltonii, D. hookerii, Pseudostachyum polymorphum, Chimonobambusa sp.Cephalostachyum sp. and Arundinaria spp. , Phyllostachys sp. (both single stembamboos) occsur in higher elevation 1000-2000m.


Grasslands form a main feature of vegetation in reverine plains and at higher elevations. This seral type is maintained through recurring annual fires at higher elevation and excessive grazing at lower elevations. In lower elevation, Saccharum spontaneum, S.arundinaceum, Neyraudia reynaudiana, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Imperate Cylindrica, etc. associated with a few sedges like Cyperus sp., Scirpus sp.., Fimbristylies sp., etc. are seen commonly in grasslands. A few trees scattered at lower elevations, like Macranga denticulate, Bombax ceiba, Duabanga grandiflora make the grassland are prominent in pine belt. Such grasslands support gregarious tall grasses viz., Thysanolaena maxima, Imperata cylindrical.  Sporobolus sp.., Paspalum sp., etc. 


Peoples participation in forestry management :

To encourage peoples participation in the management of forestry related activities several schemes have been introduced in the state.    Apna Van is one of such popular schemes.   Some other plantations schemes in the state are Aided Natural Regeneration, Minimum Need Programme, Minor Forest Produce, Area Oriented Fuelwood and Fodder Project, Integrated Wasteland Development Project, etc. To meet the demand of high class timber Deptt. of Environment and Forests has taken up several plantation of  high value timber species.  The picture shows a scientifically managed teak plantation.

Photographs :


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     The fauna of Arunachal Pradesh is equally rich with as many as 25 species of mammals included in Schedule – I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The large herbivours of the foot-hills and adjoining plains are the elephant (Elephas maximus), gaur (Bos gaurus) and the wild buffalo (Bubalus bufalis).


   Arunachal Pradesh is perhaps the only State which has four major cats, i.e. tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Lesser cats like the golden cat, leopard cat and the marbled cat are also found here.
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Seven species of primates i.e. hoolock gibbon, slow loris, Assamese macaque, rhesus macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, and capped langur also occur in the forests of the State. This is the only state where all the 3 goat antelopes occurring in India, i.e. serow, goral and takin are found. The highly endangered hispid hare (caprolagus hispidus) is also found in low grassy areas of the State.


duck.jpg (16471 bytes) Among the smaller mammals several Rodents (squirrel, porcupine and rats), Civets, mongoose, linsang, shrew and bat species are also to be found. On higher elevations, animals like goral, Himalayan black bear, red panda, are met with in various parts of the State. Over 500 bird species inhabit Arunachal Pradesh including some endangered and endemic ones like, white winged wood duck, Sclater’s Monal, Temmincks Tragopan, black necked crane, Mishmi wren and Bengal florican.


The ‘Mithun’ (Bos Frontails) exist both in wild and semi-domesticated form. This animal has religious significance and intimate relation with socio-cultural life of the people. Traditionally, the mithun is a unit of wealth and is allowed to move freely in jungle till it is either used for food on festive occasions and marriage feasts, or for barter.
       Mithun - The State Animal


Hornbill - the State Bird Arunachal Pradesh is also the happy home of the great Indian Hornbills-the set extraordinary bird with an inordinately large beak which is also the State bird.The white winged wood duck, a rare endangered species, has been sheltered in Namdapha National Park. Namdapha sanctuary was upgraded to the status of National park in 1983.


This is the richest State for pheasants, with some ten species occupying different

altitudes from the plains to the snowy heights. The State also abounds in a variety of reptiles, amphibians,

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pisces and innumerable species of butterflies, moths, beetles and other insects.


There are two national parks and nine wild life sanctuaries in the State managed by the forest department.

National Parks :  

blink.gif (270 bytes)   Namdapha                                                                           blink.gif (270 bytes)   Mouling


Wildlife sanctuaries : There are eight wildlife sanctuaries. 
Pakhui,  Itanagar,  Daying Ering, Mehao, Kane, Eagle’s Nest, Kamlang, Mehao
A brief description about the wildlife sanctuaries is presented below :      Pakhui : Location –> East Kameng District ; Area –> 862 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Elephants, Tiger, Barking Deer, Gour, Leopard, Hornbill etc.

Itanagar : Location –> Papumpare District ; Area –> 140.30 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Elephants, Tiger, Barking Deer,  Leopard, various bird species and orchid species.

Daying Ering : Location –> East Siang District ; Area –> 190 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –>   Hogdeer, Lispid bear, endemic, migratory birds and migratory water birds

Mehao : Location –> Dibang Valley and Lohit District ; Area –> 281.5 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Hoolock, Gibbon, Tiger, Elephant,  Leopard, etc.

Kane : Location –> West Siang District ; Area –> 55 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Elephants, Mall cat, Deer etc.

Eagle’s Nest : Location –> East Kameng District ; Area –> 217 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Elephants, Goral, Tiger, Leopard, Red pardor etc.

Kamlang : Location –> Lohit District ; Area –> 783 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Gibbon,   Tiger, Leopard, Takin etc.

Dibang : Location –> Dibang Valley District ; Area –> 4149 sq. km ; Wild life inhabitant –> Musk Deer, Takin, Black Bear,  Leopard, Khalij and rare birds etc.

Apart from this there is one Orchid Sanctuary :

Sessa Orchid Sanctuary : Location –> West Kameng District Area –> 100 sq. km ; Species : variety of Orchids and some wild life like Red Panda, Pheasant, Scrow, Goral etc.

Deer found in Arunachal Pradesh
Wild Bear
Magpie bird


The varied forest types of eastern Himalaya exhibit an enormous floristic diversity.   Apart from large number of timber species, there are innumerable varieties and kinds of orchids, medicinal plants, ferns, bamboos, canes, wild relative of large number of our cultivated plants, and even plants of biological curiosities, such as  parasites,saprophytes, etc. are found.  Other important group of plants are Rhododendrons,Hedychiums and oaks etc.
Orchids form a dominant group of plants with their attractive and unique blooms. There are more than 600 species of orchids, 52 species of rhododendron, 18 species of hedychium, 16 species of oak,  18 species of canes, 45 species of bamboo in addition to large number of medicinal and aromatic plants. 


Arunachal Pradesh has many species of endangered, endemic, primitive, and relict flora, Magnolia Pterocarpa pterocarpa is one such primitive angiosperm, which occurs in the foot-hills. Some rare and endangered flora that occur in Arunachal Pradesh are: Amentotazus assamica in Lohit District . Rhododendron arunachalense found inSubansiri District, Rhododendron dalhousie, and Tetracentron sinense, occurring inKameng District, Rhododendron santapaul recorded in Subansiri  District.


Gomphogyne macrocarpa found in Tirap and Kameng Districts, Gymnocladus assamicus andLithocarpus Kamengensis available in Kameng district. Rhynchoglossum lasulinum in kameng and Subansiri District. Dendrocalamus sahni in Subansiri District.  Hypericum griffitthii in Kameng District, Coptis teeta of Dibang Valley Districts, etc.
The State harbours about 52 species of of Rhododendrons, 18 species of Hedychium , 16 species of Qaks, 33 species of Coniters and a large number of fems and lichens.


About 500 species of orchids occur in Arunachal Pradesh. These include about 140 species of terrestrial orchids with 15 saprophytes and about 340 epiphytes found in the differentforest types. The prominent species are:  Cymbidium ansifolium , C, grandiflorum, Coelogyne corymbosa. Dendroblum aphylla, D. fimbriatum var occulatum, D.densiflorum, Calanthe masuca, Phaius flavus, Paphiopedilum. Tairriearum, venustum renanthera imschootiana, vanda coenulea , etc. Rhynchostylis refusa is the state flower of Arunachal pradesh.


The vegetation of Arunachal Pradesh falls under four broad climatic categories and can be classified in five broad forest types with a sixth type of secondary forests. These aretropical forests, sub-tropical forests, pine forests, temperate forests and alpine forests.  



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Arunachal’s rich and colorful  orchids find a place of pride. Out of about a thousand species of orchids in India, over 600 are to be found in Arunachal alone. Hence this state can rightly be called the “Orchid Paradise” of our country. These are colorful, spectacular and some bear exotic names such as Sita-Pushpa and Draupadi-Pushpa which were believed to have been worn by Sita and Draupadi for ornamentation. Many of these orchids are rare, endangered and highly ornamental with long-lasting flower qualities. Amongst the orchids as many as 150 species are ornamental and commercially important. Rynchostylis Retusa - State Flower
Orchids form a dominant group of plants with their attractive and unique blooms. Orchids  in Arunachal Pradesh can also be classified into 140 species of terrestrial orchids with 15 saprophytes and about 340 epiphytes found in the different forest types.The prominent species are:   Cymbidium ansifolium , C, grandiflorum, Coelogyne corymbosa. Dendroblum aphylla, D. fimbriatum var occulatum, D. densiflorum, Calanthe masuca, Phaius flavus, Paphiopedilum. fairrieanum, P.venustum Renanthera imschootiana, vanda coenulea , etc. Rhynchostylis retusa is the state flower of Arunachal pradesh.
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Department of Environment and Forest, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh has established an  Orchid Research and Development Station at Tipi in West Kameng district for propagation and conservation of these species. 

This centre has established a laboratory for orchids seed and tissue culture for this purpose. In addition Orchidorium at Tippi, two orchid conservation sanctuaries have been established at Sessa andDirang in West Kameng district. A wide varities of medicinal plant are also found.

Orchid centres  located at Itanagar, Tipi, Sessa, Dirang, Jengging, Roing under the State Forest Research Institute have good germ-plasm collection with about 400 species and hybrids. Arunachal Pradesh having variety of ornamental orchids has great potentials in orchid trade industry which consists of mainly of plant and cut-flowers. Various ornamental orchid plants both species and hybrids are sold in market either bare-root or potted plants. In fact, orchid growing can be developed as a cottage 


Ladies Slipper industry in Arunachal Pradesh.Orchids are an endangered plant group. Hence, orchid trade is regulated under the Convention of Internation Trade for Endangered Species (CITES).
Since India is signatory to this convention, Orchid trade attracts the Wild Life Protection Act (1972) of government of India amended in 1992. Accordingly, Orchids have been brought under Schedule VI of Wild Life Protection Act and the trade is regulated as per Rule..

Realising the precarious situation in all the Orchid habitats within the State, the Orchid Society of Arunachal Pradesh was formed to spread the message of conservation and promotion of orchids throughout the State. orchid  

An article on Orchid Tourism


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There are over 500 species of medicinal plants reported so for from Arunachal Pradesh. They can not only cure our ailments but can also be potential source of economy to the state. It will open up avenues in cultivation, processing , packaging, marketing and industrial application. The medicinal plants are found through out the state. Some of them are much sought after by pharmaceutical companies. Quite obviously it is the rural people, particularly the unemployed woman and children, who would be benefited by these ventures.

The demand for medicinal plants are ever increasing as people are more and more fascinated towards herbals. Extraction from wild has its own problems and risks . We need to cultivate for larger production and authenticity. Cultivation will help in conservation of some of our medicinal herbs that are being pushed to the danger of extinction. Cultivation of medicinal plants are not only economical but are ecologically safer too.

Medicinal plant of Arunachal Pradesh

Where to cultivate :

We have different agroclimatic conditions available in the state depending up on the altitude. Practically any type of land available can be used to cultivate one or the other medicinal plant. Thus they are useful for jhum fallows, farm yards, forest lands, river banks, marshy areas, roadsides, farm yards, home gardens and the like. There could he some species suiting to these conditions . These plants in various combinations can be used to make multitier plantation.

Your Choice :

After identifying the land next step is the choice of species, depending on the altitude of the place it may either be species of low altitude or high altitude. In general it should be economically profitable. For optimum productivity it may be a farm of single species or preferably combinations of trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers. Fortunately we have a number of species to choose. Some of the most economical plants are Acorus, Andrographis , Aquilaria, Dioscorea, Oroxylum, Rauvolfia, Tinospora, Withania, etc in low altitudes. While for high altitudes it is Aconitum, Coptis, Gymnadaenia, Illicium, Panax, Picrorrhiza, Rubia, Taxus, etc.

These are described below.


ball.gif (7394 bytes) Acorus calamus        

Boch, Vacha, Vayambu –This perennial herb of marshy habitats is easy to cultivate through rhizome cuttings in tropical and sub-tropical zones. The tubers are traded as it is reputed as brain tonic, coolant and drug for colic. It has high demand in the market. Commercial production from 3rd year.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Andrographis Paniculate

Kalmegh, Chiraita teeta –This bitter annual herb has hepato protective propenties and is an anthelmentic and liver tonic. It is a blood purifier too . The whole plant is used . it is one of the high demand spcies propagated through seeds and ideal for open or partial shade localities in low altitudes. Crop ready in 4-6 months.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Aquilaria agallocha

Agar , Sasi, Indian eagle wood  – This tropical deciduous tree is very valuable for its transformed wood which on distillation yield Agar oil which has high export value. Cultivation is through seed raised seedlings. Suitable for both open and partial shade. Artificial induction of agar in live trees is possible. Takes 8-20 years for agar development.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Dioscorea floribunda

Kham alu  – This is a torpical climber with underground tubers and bulbils. The tubers yields diosgeninan alkalloid used in pharmaceuticals. Propagation is through pieces of tubers and bulbils. Farming of this species is profitable . Inter cropping is also possible. Production from first year. 

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Oroxylum indicum

Bhatghilla, Jigat  – This deciduous tree is naturally seen in the secondary forests in the tropics. It is in high demand now a days for its bark used for tanning and as medicine for fever and many other ailments and as tonic. Propagation is through seeds. Bark ready, by 10 years, can be harvested sustainably through scientific methods.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Piper longum

Pipli,  Piper brachystachyum, Pmullesua, P. peepuloides-Round Pipli – Climbers or Undershrubs . An important medicinal plants of Ayurveda . Fruits are collected and traded, for which excellent scope of marketing exist. Ieal for under planting and for partially shaded areas. Multiplication through suckers, stem cuttings and seeds . Harvest expected from 2nd to 4th year.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Rauvolfia serpentina

Sarpagandha – This perennial undershrub can be cultivated in the low altitudes in open as well as shady areas . The roots are reputed fro the treatment of blood pressure. Roots ready to harvest form second years onwards. Propagation through seeds and stem cuttings.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Tinaspora cordifolia

Amrit lata, Guduchi – This is a tropical climber which is used as a tonic and vitaliser . The stem is used for drug manufacture and traded. Ideal for multitier plantation. It has high demand. Propagated through stem cuttings.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Whithania somnifera

Aswagandha – A herbaceous perennial plant, reputed as Indian Ginseng and used for vitality and vigour . Can be cultivated in open and shady areas which are well drained and dry . The roots have great marketing potential. Propagation through seeds.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Aconitum ferox, Aconitum hetero-phyllum

Atish, Aconite – Perennial herbs of alpine and sub alpine habitats. Usually in open places. Roots used for medicine. Very good market prospects for the roots and tubers, Multiplication through seeds and tubers.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Coptis teeta

Mishmi teeta – This is a temperate herb found only in Arunachal Pradesh . It can be cultivated as under planting. Propagation is through seeds. The roots are sold for treatment of variety of diseases.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Gymnadaenia archidis

Panch hath , Salam pancha –  This annual herbaceous orchid produce high value medicinal tubers which are general tonic. Ideal is open places in alpine localities Propagation through tubers.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes) Illicium griffuhii

Lissi – This is a high altitude tree valued for its fruits. The fruits are used as spice and medicine. Multiplication is through seeds and branch cuttings. Ideal for mixed plantations. Has good market potential ( Front cover photo) .

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ball.gif (7394 bytes)  Panax sikkimensis, Panax spp.

Ginseng – Perennial herbs with tubers, Grows in temperate and sub temperate zones. Ideal for cultivation as under planting. The tubers are highly priced and has high demand. This is a rejuvenating general tonic. Propagation through seeds and tubers. Harvest by 4-8 years.

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ball.gif (7394 bytes)  Picrorrhiza kurroa

Kutki – This is a stemless perennial herb of alpine habitats. It is in high demand for a variety of herbal medicines. Can be grown in open localities and grasslands. Propagation is through seeds and suckers. Much rate in nature. Rhizome ready by 4th year .

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ball.gif (7394 bytes)  Rubia cordifolia

Manjista – This is a perennial climber with four leaves of each node. It yields orange/red dye. It is a high demand species in the medicinal plant market . Ideal for sub-tropical and temperatezones. Prefers shady localities but possible to grow in open too. Propagation through seeds . Crop ready for harvest by 3rd year .

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ball.gif (7394 bytes)  Taxus baccata

Yew – It is a temperate conifer tree. The leaves yields costly taxol. Ideal for cultivation in high altitudes as mixed planting and propagation is through seeds . Easier to multiply through stem cuttings. Has very high demand in market.

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   Some more pictures of medicinal plants under plantation in Arunachal Pradesh :


    Curcuma Caesia
Rubia Cordifolia
Acorus Calamus
    Piper brachystachyum


blink.gif (270 bytes)  How to cultivate :

Medicinal plants can be cultivated through 
Direct seed sowing
Nursery raised seedlings
Stem cuttings
Root suckers
Tubers and bulbils using appropriate
While planting we should ensure to 
Use authentic planting materials
Keep adequate spacing
Provide shade as per requirement
Avoid over watering
Avoid excessive pesticides
Use minimum    fertilizers

blink.gif (270 bytes)   The advantages

Cultivation of medicinal plants ensure 
Abundance and availability
Authenticity of raw material
Easy management and harvest
Economic sustainability and annual returns
Better land use and better health of people.

For Further information: 

Write to

The Director, 
State Forest Research Institute. 
Van Vihar , PB No. 159,
Itanagar-791 111. Arunachal Pradesh
Tel. 0360- 203566 , Fax, 0360 – 203523.
E-mail :



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