Maharashtra is a state in the western and central peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Godavari and Krishna are the two major rivers in the state. The forest constitutes 16.47 per cent of the state's geographical area. Out of the total cultivable land in the state, about 60 per cent is used for grain crops in the Deccan region, rice in coastal Konkan, and other high rainfall areas.
Maharashtra is ranked second among the state in terms of the recorded forest area. Recorded Forest Area in the state is 61,579 square miles of which 49,546 square miles is reserved forests, 6,733 square miles is protected forest and 5,300 square miles is unclassed forests. Based on the interpretation of IRS Resourcesat-2 LISS III satellite data of the period Oct 2017 to Jan 2018, the State has 8,720.53 square miles under Very Dense Forest, 20,572.35 square miles under Moderately Dense Forest and 21,484.68 square miles under Open Forest, According to the Champion and Seth classification, Maharashtra has five types of forests. Southern Tropical Semi-Evergreen forests are found in the western ghats at a height of 400–1000 meters. Anjani, Hirda, Kinjal, and Mango are predominant tress species found here. Southern Tropical Moist Deciduous forests are a mix of Moist Teak bearing forests and Moist Mixed deciduous forests, Commercially important Teak, Shishum, and bamboo are found here. In addition to evergreen Teak, some of the other tree species found in this type of forest include Jambul, Ain, and Shisam. Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous forests occupy a major part of the state. Southern Tropical Thorn forests are found in the low rainfall regions of Marathwada, Vidarbha, Khandesh, and Western Maharashtra. At present, these forests are heavily degraded. Babul, Bor, and Palas are some of the tree species found here. Littoral and Swamp forests are mainly found in the Creeks of Sindhudurg and Thane districts of the coastal Konkan region. The state harbours significant mangrove, coastal and marine biodiversity, with 304 km2 of the area under mangrove cover as per the India State of Forest Report of the Forest survey India in the coastal districts of the state.
The state has three crucial biogeographic zones, namely Western Ghats, Deccan Plateau, and the West coast. The Ghats nurture endemic species, Deccan Plateau provides for vast mountain ranges and grasslands while the coast is home to littoral and swamp forests. As per a report released by the Zoological Survey of India, Of the 94,000 identifiable fauna species in the country, Maharashtra accounts for 5,460 species, which is six per cent of the country's fauna. Maharashtra provides legal protection to its tiger population through six dedicated tiger reserves under the precincts of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The most common animal species present in the state are monkeys, wild pigs, tiger, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, sambar, four-horned antelope, chital, barking deer, mouse deer, small Indian civet, golden jackal, jungle cat, and hare. Other animals found in this state include reptiles such as lizards, scorpions and snake species such as cobras and kraits, etc.
Flora of Maharashtra is heterogeneous in composition. In 2012 the recorded thick forest area in the state was 61,939 km2 which was about 20.13 per cent of the state's geographical area. State's 720 kilometres of sea coastline of the Arabian sea marks presence of various types of fish and marine animals. Zoological Survey of India found 1527 marine animal species, some of them are Molluscs with 581 species, It is 38 per cent of the total marine life of the state. Notably Crustacean species include Crabs, Shrimps, Lobsters, 287 fish species, 141 species types of Aanelids,