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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(4), 752-766; doi:10.3390/rs3040752

Spatial and Temporal Land Cover Changes in the Simen Mountains National Park, a World Heritage Site in Northwestern Ethiopia

1
Adet Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 08, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
2
University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Science, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
3
Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, ECS 339, 11200 S.W.8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, USA
4
Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Shorobe Road, Private Bag 285, Maun, Botswana
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 January 2011 / Revised: 11 February 2011 / Accepted: 23 February 2011 / Published: 8 April 2011
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: change analysis; GIS; land cover; land cover change; Landsat; remote sensing; supervised classification change analysis; GIS; land cover; land cover change; Landsat; remote sensing; supervised classification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

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