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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(2), 1619-1639;

Assessing Habitat Quality of Forest-Corridors through NDVI Analysis in Dry Tropical Forests of South India: Implications for Conservation

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Royal Enclave, Sri Ramapura, Jakkur Post, Bangalore 560 064, India
Manipal University, Manipal, Udupi 576 104, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Heiko Baltzer and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 21 August 2014 / Revised: 23 December 2014 / Accepted: 12 January 2015 / Published: 4 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observation for Ecosystems Monitoring in Space and Time)
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Most wildlife habitats and migratory routes are extremely threatened due to increasing demands on forestland and forest resources by burgeoning human population. Corridor landscape in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT) is one among them, subjected to various anthropogenic pressures. Human habitation, intensive farming, coffee plantations, ill-planned infrastructure developments and rapid spreading of invasive plant species Lantana camara, pose a serious threat to wildlife habitat and their migration. Aim of this work is to create detailed NDVI based land change maps and to use them to identify time-series trends in greening and browning in forest corridors in the study area and to identify the drivers that are influencing the observed changes. Over the four decades in BRT, NDVI increased in the core area of the forest and reduced in the fringe areas. The change analysis between 1973 and 2014 shows significant changes; browning due to anthropogenic activities as well as natural processes and greening due to Lantana spread. This indicates that the change processes are complex, involving multiple driving factors, such as socio-economic changes, high population growth, historical forest management practices and policies. Our study suggests that the use of updated and accurate change detection maps will be useful in taking appropriate site specific action-oriented conservation decisions to restore and manage the degraded critical wildlife corridors in human-dominated landscape. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildlife corridor; NDVI; change analysis; greening; browning; anthropogenic pressure wildlife corridor; NDVI; change analysis; greening; browning; anthropogenic pressure

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mallegowda, P.; Rengaian, G.; Krishnan, J.; Niphadkar, M. Assessing Habitat Quality of Forest-Corridors through NDVI Analysis in Dry Tropical Forests of South India: Implications for Conservation. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 1619-1639.

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