Analyses of Land Cover Changes from 1981 to 2016 in Pande Game Reserve, Tanzania
Pande Game Reserve is among the protected areas in the coast of Tanzania. The reserve is heavily degraded because of illegal anthropogenic disturbances. The patterns of land cover changes which occurred in the reserve between 1981 and 2016 were determined using GIS and remote sensing techniques. Five land cover types, namely woodland, bushland, grassland, natural forest and bare soils were detected. The base map of 1981 indicated natural forest covering 965 ha (63.2%) followed by bushland with an area of 462ha (30%), grassland covering 7% (100 ha) where the woodland and bare soils did not exist in the reserve. The natural forest decreased from 965 ha to 421 ha in 2016 and the woodland that evolved in 1995 (87 ha) increased to 500 ha in 2011 and then stabilised up to 2016. The bare soils were more pronounced between 1995 and 2011 and then decreased in 2016. The grassland covered 100 ha in 1981, which expanded to 355 ha in 1995 and then decreased to 124 ha between 2000 and 2016 following intensified management intervention. Thus, land cover changes that involved reduction in natural forest are considered to have impacted plant populations surviving in already extremely limited habitat range within Pande Game Reserve. GIS and remote sensing techniques are potential to inform conservation management interventions of the depleting coastal forests resources in Tanzania.
Keywords: Bushland; GIS-Remote sensing; habitat; land cover change; natural forest; protected area; woodland
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