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While there has been an increase in the forest cover area in state, the bad news is that a large part of it is due to regeneration of 'proposis juliflora', an invasive weed. Juliflora is considered a noxious invader that is hard and expensive to remove. More alarmingly, the five tribal districts of Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Banswara, Sirohi and Dungarpur continue to lose forest cover.

The India State of Forest Report 2015 released on Friday by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) says that out a total geographical area of 3,42,239 sq km in the state, 16,171 sq km is under forest cover, an increase of 85 sq km when compared with figures of 2013.

Besides regeneration of juliflora, the increase in forest cover is also a result of protection and plantation.Introduced by the British to afforest the desert wasteland, juliflora is a drought-resistant shrub that often becomes a tree but proves damaging to the ecology preventing the growth of other native plants. To make matters worse, it is invincible as it can survive even in extreme conditions. However, its pods and wood are often used as animal fodder and for lighting fire.

Categorising the forest cover in state, the FSI report says that the state has 76 sq km of very dense forest, 4,426 sq km of moderately dense forest and 11,669 sq km of open forest. Moderately dense forest is defined as areas where the tree density is 40% or more but less than 70%, while open forests are lands with a tree density of 10% or but less than 40%.

Areas of more than 70% tree density are called very dense forest and are the thickest and oldest forest patches.Within the state, Jaisalmer is the biggest gainer as far as forest cover is concerned with the desert district alone contributing to 40 sq km out of the total of 85 sq km gain in forest area, as a result of regeneration of juliflora. It is followed by Pali at 31 sq km and Ganganagar and Barmer at 12 sq km each. While Chittorgarh and Banswara recorded biggest loss in forest cover by 10 and 8 sq km, respectively. A surprise inclusion in list of districts losing forest cover is Bharatpur, which has lost 3 sq km forest area.

Prosopis L. is a genus of medium-sized trees 1986, Bessega et al. 2006, Burghardt and and shrubs in the family Fabaceae (Legumi- Espert 2007). nosae), subfamily Mimosoideae, with species Well-known species of Prosopis include occurring naturally in Africa, Asia, and in P. glandulosa Torr. (honey mesquite) and P . North and South America. The most recent velutina Woot. (velvet mesquite), which are authoritative work on the taxonomy of the both native to areas of the southwestern genus was conducted by Burkart (1976), who United States and Mexico, and P. pallida recognized 44 species in five sections.