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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 174;

Mapping and Monitoring the Akagera Wetland in Rwanda

State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK), P.O. 6392, Kigali, Rwanda
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mary J. Thornbush and Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
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Wetland maps are a prerequisite for wetland development planning, protection, and restoration. The present study aimed at mapping and monitoring Rwanda’s Akagera Complex Wetland by means of remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS). Landsat data, spanning from 1987 to 2015, were acquired from different sensor instruments, considering a 5-year interval during the dry season and the shuttle radar topographic mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (30-m resolution) was used to delineate the wetland. The mapping and delineation results showed that the wetland narrowly extends along the Rwanda-Tanzania border from north to south, following the course of Akagera River and the total area can be estimated at 100,229.76 ha. After waterbodies that occupy 30% of the wetland’s surface area, hippo grass and Cyperus papyrus are also predominant, representing 29.8% and 29%, respectively. Floodplain and swamp forest have also been inventoried in smaller proportions. While the wetland extent has apparently remained stable, the inhabiting waterbodies have been subject to enormous instability due to invasive species. Lakes, such as Mihindi, Ihema, Hago and Kivumba have been shrinking in extent, while Lake Rwanyakizinga has experienced a certain degree of expansion. This study represents a consistent decision support tool for Akagera wetland management in Rwanda. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; GIS; Akagera Complex Wetland; Rwanda; monitoring and mapping remote sensing; GIS; Akagera Complex Wetland; Rwanda; monitoring and mapping

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Ndayisaba, F.; Nahayo, L.; Guo, H.; Bao, A.; Kayiranga, A.; Karamage, F.; Nyesheja, E.M. Mapping and Monitoring the Akagera Wetland in Rwanda. Sustainability 2017, 9, 174.

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