A Baseline Survey of Protected Area Network in North Bank Landscape(NBL) with Reference to Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) Using Remote Sensing

Amit Sharma, Madhushree Munsi, Krishna Raj, Sraboni Mazumdar, Himanshu Govil, DipankarGhose, Sejal Worah, Anupam Sarmah, Hiten Baishya, P.J. Bora | January 2010


Increasing human population and demand for food and fodder has lead to natural land cover degradation, resulting in habitat degradation, biodiversity loss, and ecological instability. Thus, proper measures are required for conservation of habitat and biodiversity at broad landscape level. Establishment of protected areas is necessary for promoting sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Park effectiveness, however, depends on park management, monitoring, improving protected area system design, and increasing local and national support. Protected area mapping is an important aspect of protected area management. It serves as baseline for ecological modeling and future monitoring and assessment. Advances in geospatial tools have further strengthened the mapping technique as it considers both temporal and spatial aspect of the landscape. The present study was carried out for baseline survey of Protected Area Network in North Bank Landscape (NBL) and in the important protected areas present within it(i.e., Manas National Park, Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, and Karbi Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary) with reference to Land Use/ Land Cover change (LULCC) using Remote Sensing. Different thematic layers, generated with the aid of Auto cad 2000i, ArcMap 9.2, ArcView 3.2, and ERDAS 9.0, were used for land use/land cover mapping. NBL is one of the globally recognized biodiversity hotspots and one of the WWF’s eco-regions. The area is rich in both floral and faunal diversity and thus requires urgent attention for conservation measures. The area was thus selected to map the landscape and the protected areas that will serve as baseline for further detailed studies and future monitoring.