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.
Keywords: change analysis; GIS; land cover; land cover change; Landsat; remote sensing; supervised classification
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Wondie, M.; Schneider, W.; Melesse, A.M.; Teketay, D. Spatial and Temporal Land Cover Changes in the Simen Mountains National Park, a World Heritage Site in Northwestern Ethiopia. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 752-766.
Wondie M, Schneider W, Melesse AM, Teketay D. Spatial and Temporal Land Cover Changes in the Simen Mountains National Park, a World Heritage Site in Northwestern Ethiopia. Remote Sensing. 2011; 3(4):752-766.
Wondie, Menale; Schneider, Werner; Melesse, Assefa M.; Teketay, Demel. 2011. "Spatial and Temporal Land Cover Changes in the Simen Mountains National Park, a World Heritage Site in Northwestern Ethiopia." Remote Sens. 3, no. 4: 752-766.