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Areendran, G.; Raj, K.; Sharma, A.; Bora, P.J.; Sarmah, A.; Sahana, M.; Ranjan, K., 2020. Documenting the land use pattern in the corridor complexes of Kaziranga National Park using high resolution satellite imagery. Trees, Forests and People 2 (100039): 1-18 -

Location: Asia - South Asia - India - Assam
Subject: Conservation
Species: Indian Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam, India, is a protected area of global prominence as it provides habitat to the largest population of the Indian Rhinoceros in the world and is also special as it has a diverse human population from different cultures surrounding the national park. Conservation and management of the park is becoming very complex with the passage of time due to a range of issues including the increase in wildlife as well as human population and developments in the adjoining areas. There is no buffer zone in the park and animals historically, have used the adjoining forests and highlands as refuge from time to time to escape the onslaught of seasonal floods. Developments and growth of human settlements have constricted the areas available for free movement of animals from and to the park in many sectors and at present there are 9 prominent tracts which are used by the animals for their movement to adjoining habitats and in many portions, both humans and wildlife use the same areas. There are at least five common complexes that are used by wildlife for their movement in and around the Kaziranga NP and detailed information regarding the land use and land cover pattern within these corridor complexes which are very vital for the security of the park, is not available. The present study uses high resolution satellite images (IRS P6 LISS IV and LISS III) for 2002 and 2013 and extensive field survey methods for documenting the pattern of the existing land use/land cover of the corridor complexes. Camera trap-based monitoring, interaction with the local people and GPS field surveys were conducted during the 2015–16 period for this study. Land use land cover change analysis and forest fragmentation map was prepared to understand the nature of anthropogenic disturbance to the forest cover of the corridor complexes. The result reveals that most of the corridor complexes have a very mixed type of land cover, which advocates very careful planning to ensure that both humans and animals use the area sustainably. The NH-37 which runs on the south of the Kaziranga National Park has become a zone of escalating developmental activities for the local population as well as the tourists. Few corridors for animal movement, which have become almost non-functional due to regular increase of anthropogenic activities in few important areas.

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