Volume No. 9 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1257-1263 April June 2015

 

AN ASSESSMENT OF LAND USE-LAND COVER CHANGE USING GEOINFORMATICS IN SONAI-RUPAI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, ASSAM, INDIA

 

Jahan Saherah,* Kalita Sarbeswar1 and Baruah Binode Kumar2

1. Department of Environmental Science, Gauhati Universiy, Guwahati, Assam (INDIA) 2. Department of Zoology, Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam (INDIA)

 

Received on : January 22, 2015

 

ABSTRACT

 

Land is the most important natural resources on which all activities are based. Land use-Land cover changes are dynamic processes taking place on the surface of the earth and it becomes a significant component in managing natural resources and monitoring environmental changes. The study area Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Sonitpur district of Assam, India. The present study aimed to assess land use land cover change in the sanctuary and their effect on biodiversity and forest fragmentation. Landuse/Landcover change were assessed and compared over a period of 45 years (1960-2005) by using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technique. The data used for the study were Survey of India toposheets (1959-60 and 1961-62) and satellite imageries for the year 1988, 2001 and 2005. Changes in landuse/landcover have affected the relative abundance of natural habitats and resulted in the establishment of new land cover types. Result shows that change have been observed during the period 1980 to 2005 which indicate that severe land cover changes have occurred in forest cover. Of the total 220 sq km area of the sanctuary it was found that 85.9% was forest cover during the period 1960s to 1988 which was reduced to 49.8% in 2005. The total decline in forest cover during the period 1960s to 2005 was 35.7% which has also resulted in biodiversity loss in the sanctuary. It was also seen that river dynamic has also affected the landuse/landcover of the sanctuary. Hence both natural and anthropogenic activities has resulted land use and land cover change within the sanctuary.

 

Keywords : Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, Land cover, Remote sensing, GIS, Forest cover, Biodiversity loss

 

 

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