Spatial and temporal dynamics of land use and land cover in and around Magamba Nature Forest Reserve, Lushoto, Tanzania

  • S M Andrew
  • S J Sembosi
Keywords: Remote sensing, GIS, built-up area, landscape, protected area, Eastern Arc Mountains, nature forest reserve


Magamba Nature Forest Reserve is the
largest forest reserve with endemic, rare and
unique species of flora and fauna in Lushoto,
Tanzania. It lies within the Eastern Arc
Mountains and is important for biodiversity,
water catchment, environmental and
cultural values. Unfortunately, it is perceived
that human activities have had impacts on the
forest resources in and around the reserve.
However, these perceptions are little proved
quantitatively. Thus, a study was carried out
to assess the dynamics of land use and land
cover in and around Magamba Nature Forest
Reserve for the period 1995-2015 to facilitate
improved management of the reserve.
Remote sensing and GIS methods were used
to carry out satellite images classification and
ground truthing data were collected during
field observations using GPS. Landsat
thematic mapper and operational land
imagery were used to locate and quantify the
land use and land cover changes in the study
area. Change detection was done through
post classification in SAGA 2.2.0. Results
indicated a major expansion of agricultural
area from 169.33 ha in 1995 to 902.54 ha in
2015. Likewise, there was an increase of
built-up area from 36.50 ha in 1995 to
1792.92 ha in 2015 at the expense of other
land covers. Natural forest decreased from
8051.35 ha in 1995 to 3431.30 ha in 2015.
Similarly, woodland area decreased from
2333.37 ha in 1995 to 1216.76 ha in 2015. It
is evident that there have been considerable
changes in land use and land cover in and
around the reserve that call for improved
management strategies to sustain biodiversity
and other values

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2408-8137
print ISSN: 2408-8129