The Forests of East Godavari District are having rich biodiversity and the area is having semi evergreen forests and moist deciduous with undulating terrain, which forms part of the Eastern Ghats. It offers a visual feast to the visitor of forests, rich in flora and fauna, undulating hilly terrain, silvery streams cascading down the rocks, waterfalls, fragrant medicinal plants, the pine and golden bamboo clumps and many more attractions.
Kakinada Forest Division comprises of the entire district of East Godavari and lies in the north eastern part of Andhra Pradesh between latitudes160 18’ 04’’ and 180 00’ 54’’N and longitudes 810 30’ 08’’ and 820 36’ 17’’ E. Geographical area of the Division is 10807 Km2 . The Division can be broadly classified into 3 natural regions namely the Delta, upland and Agency or hill tracts.
The delta portion constituting the whole of Konaseema and portions of erstwhile Taluks of Kakinada, Ramachandrapuram and Rajahmundry, presents a vast expanse of rice-fields surrounded by plantains, betel, coconut gardens and innumerable palmyrahs.
The erstwhile Taluks of Tuni, Pithapuram, Peddapuram and portions of Kakinada, Ramachandrapuram and Rajahmundry constitute the upland areas.
The Eastern Ghats rise by gradations from the level of the coast and spread throughout the erstwhile agency Taluks of Rampachodavaram and Yellavaram.
The main soils in the district are alluvial (clay loamy) red soil, sandy loam and sandy clay. There is mostly alluvial soil in Godavari delta and sandy clay soil at the tail end portions of river Godavari, red loamy soil in upland and agency area of the district. The major rivers falling in the Division are Godavari, Pampa and Yeleru.
The region mostly has a tropical climate like the rest of the Coastal Andhra region. The summers (March-June) are very hot and humid. The rainy season (July-Jan) is the best time to visit this place with the fields brilliantly green with paddy crops, rivulets flowing with water and the sun shining brightly but not burning as it does in the summer. Temperature ranging from 100 C to 480 C and the annual rainfall is about 1280 mm.
Population of the Division is 5.15 million (2011 Census), per capita forest is 0.06 Ha and the population density is 477 persons per Km2 .
Recorded Forest Area: The notified forest area of the Division is 3235.39 Km2 which is 32.71% of the geographical area. Reserved and Protected Forests constitute 2701.31Km2 (83.3%) and 531.13 Km2 (22.7%) of the forest area respectively.
As per Champion and Seth’s classification, the forest types found in the Division are Tropical Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests and Tropical Dry Deciduous Scrub Forests.
Protected Area: The Division has Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary– the largest surviving patch of Mangrove forests in the State with 35 Mangrove tree species and a Home for the rare and endangered Smooth Indian Otter, Fishing Cat ; and a part of Papikonda National Park in its fold. Out of the 3235.39 Km2 of forest area, the Coringa WLS occupies an area of 235.7 Km2 and Papikonda Wild Life Sanctuary occupies 591 Km2 .
Community Forest Management: There are 529 Vana Samrakshana Samities (VSSs) in the Division with an area of 1148.05 Km2 of forests, which is 35.4% of the forest area
Good miscellaneous dry deciduous and semievergreen forests are found in Rampa reserve. There are good types of forests with a height of ranging from 10 to 25 metres. Terminalia Bellerica (Tani), Termlnalia Chebula (Karakkaya), Bauhinia Retusa (Nirpa), Schrebera Switerloides (Mokhem), Terminalia Arjuna (Tellamaddi), Mangifera indica (Mamidi), Syzygium Cumini (Neredu), Dillenia Pentagyna (Kalinga), Aelbizzia Odoratissima (Chinduga) are some of the species in the forest areas of the Rampachodavaram. While Tectona grandis (Teak) is introduced here by the forest department.
The forests provide employment to the tribals through various forest operations such as felling, logging, plantation, transportation of timber and collection of minor forest produce. The major forest produce are timber, firewood, and bamboos, while the minor forest produce includes tamarind, soapnuts, tanning barks, adda leaves, honey and brooms.
The forests of this area are represented by all classes of animals that are normally found in the forest areas, though small in number. Gaur is found seasonally in the Rampa agency area. Sambar, spotted deer and barking deer, rabbits, hares and wild boars,Malabar giant squirrels are also present. Peafowl, Jungle-fowl, partridge and quail birds are found in this area. Pythons and snakes such as cobras, kraits and vipers are there in the hilly areas. The major carnivores habituate are Tiger,Leopard, Wild Dogs,Indian Wolf and King Cobra.
Administration of Kakinada Division :
There are (3) Sub Divisions and (7) Ranges in Kakinada Division. Sub Divisions are Kakinada, Yeleswaram and Rampachodavaram. Seven ranges are Kakinada, Yeleswaram, Addathigala, Rajavommangi, Rampachodavaram, Sudikonda & Gokavaram. There are 36 Sections and 95 Beats.