Assessing the priorities for sustainable forest management in the Sikkim Himalaya, India: A remote sensing based approach

Sikkim is a small, mountainous, Indian state (7,096 km2) located in the eastern Himalayan region. Though a global biodiversity hotspot, it has been relatively less studied. A detailed forest type, density and change dynamics study was undertaken, using satellite remote sensing data and intensive field verification. The landscape was found to be dominated by alpine and nival ecosystems, with a large portion above the tree line, considerable snow cover, and a sizeable area under forest cover (72%, 5,094 km2).