Date of this Version

4-8-2011

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The trend of land cover (LC) and land cover change (LCC), both in time and space, was investigated at the Simen Mountains National Park (SMNP), a World Heritage Site located in northern Ethiopia, between 1984 and 2003 using Geographical Information System (GIS) and remote sensing (RS). The objective of the study was to generate spatially and temporally quantified information on land cover dynamics, providing the basis for policy/decision makers and resource managers to facilitate biodiversity conservation, including wild animals. Two satellite images (Landsat TM of 1984 and Landsat ETM+ of 2003) were acquired and supervised classification was used to categorize LC types. Ground Control Points were obtained in field condition for georeferencing and accuracy assessment. The results showed an increase in the areas of pure forest (Erica species dominated) and shrubland but a decrease in the area of agricultural land over the 20 years. The overall accuracy and the Kappa value of classification results were 88 and 85%, respectively. The spatial setting of the LC classes was heterogeneous and resulted from the biophysical nature of SMNP and anthropogenic activities. Further studies are suggested to evaluate the existing LC and LCC in connection with wildlife habitat, conservation and management of SMNP.

Comments

© 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

doi: 10.3390/rs3040752

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