AIMS Geosciences, 2018, 4(1): 66-87. doi: 10.3934/geosci.2018.1.66

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Wild life habitat suitability and conservation hotspot mapping: Remote Sensing and GIS based decision support system

1 Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Environment and Forest, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar, India

Background: The environment and habitat are the important aspects of the forest ecosystem. The continuous changes in the environment due to natural phenomenon or human actions have degraded the forest and wildlife habitat thus causing a decline in their population. Therefore it is important to study wildlife habitat in order to ensure their survival. In this regard, application of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System has been widely accepted as a tool which has immense significance in wildlife habitat suitability modeling and mapping. Maps derived from analysis of remote sensing data and modeling in GIS are highly useful in making the strategies in wildlife management and conservation planning. Objectives: The objectives of the study are to identify the suitable habitat for wild life and conservation hotspot grids were delineated which require immediate attention. Methods/Statistical analysis: The wildlife habitat suitability parameter based on forest cover, agriculture with settlement, forest fires, roads, streams and mines were analyzed. The statistical method such as pairwise comparison was used to evaluate the weightage of each parameter which helped to determine the wildlife habitat suitability modeling and mapping. Findings: The study of wildlife habitat suitability mapping in Saranda forest division reveals 42% of the grid equal to 1898 has very high suitability for wild life. The conservation hotspot reserve grid based on contiguous patch was identified within the very high wildlife suitability habitat was found to be 925 (49%). Application/Improvements: Conservation effort can be focused based on the above study and will assist in policy related decision making.
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