The Total forest cover of Jharkhand is 23,473 sq. km.
There are 4 categories of the protected areas viz. National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves & Community Reserves.
Sanctuary is an area which is of adequate ecological, fauna!, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological significance. The Sanctuary is declared for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment. Certain rights of people living inside the Sanctuary could be permitted. Further, during the settlement of claims, before finally notifying the Sanctuary, the Collector may, in consultation with the Chief Wildlife Warden, allow the continuation of any right of any person in or over any land within the limits of the Sanctuary.
National Park is an area having adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological significance. The National Park is declared for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment, like that of a Sanctuary. The difference between a Sanctuary and a National Park mainly lies in the vesting of rights of people living inside. Unlike a Sanctuary, where certain rights can be aiowed, in a National Park, no rights are allowed. No grazing of any livestock shail also be permitted inside a National Park while in a Sanctuary, the Chief Wildlife Warden may regulate, control or prohibit it. In addition, while any removal or exploitation of wildlife or forest produce from a Sanctuary requires the recommendation of the State Board for Wildlife, removal etc., from a National Park requires recommendation of the National Board for Wildlife (However, as per orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 9th May 2002 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 337 of 1995, such removal / exploitation from a Sanctuary also requires recommendation of the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife).
Conservation Reserves can be declared by the State Governments in any area owned by the Government, particularly the areas adjacent to National Parks and Sanctuaries and those areas which link one Protected Area with another. Such declaration should be made after having consultations with the local communities. Conservation Reserves are declared for the purpose of protecting landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna and their habitat. The rights of people living inside a Conservation Reserve are not affected.
Community Reserves can be declared by the State Government in any private or community land, not comprised within a National Park, Sanctuary or a Conservation Reserve, where an individual or a community has volunteered to conserve wildlife and its habitat. Community Reserves are declared for the purpose of protecting fauna, flora and traditional or cultural conservation values and practices. As in the case of a Conservation Reserve, the rights of people living inside a Community Reserve are not affected.
State Flower: Palash (Buteamosperma), also known as ‘Flame of Forest’
State Animal : Elephant ( Elephas maximus indicus) also National Heritage Animal
State Bird : Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
State Tree: Sal (Shorea robusta)