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Land Use and Land Cover Change Within and Around the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania
American Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume 8, Issue 1, June 2020, Pages: 1-19
Received: Mar. 3, 2020; Accepted: Mar. 20, 2020; Published: Apr. 29, 2020
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Hamza Khalid Kija, Department of Wildlife Management, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania; Conservation Information and Monitoring Unit (CIMU), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Arusha, Tanzania
Joseph Ochieng Ogutu, Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
Lazaro Johana Mangewa, Department of Wildlife Management, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
John Bukombe, Conservation Information and Monitoring Unit (CIMU), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Arusha, Tanzania
Francesca Verones, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Bente Jessen Graae, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Jafari Ramadhani Kideghesho, College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM), Moshi, Tanzania
Mohammed Yahya Said, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway; Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Emmanuel Fred Nzunda, Department of Forest Resources Assessment and Management, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
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Land use and land cover (LULC) changes can pose profound impacts on wildlife habitats, abundance and distribution and on human-dominated landscapes. We investigated LULC changes in the Greater Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania, for a period of 41 years from 1975 to 2015. Specifically, we mapped LULC types for 1975, 1995 and 2015 and assessed the corresponding changes during 1975-1995, 1995-2015 and 1975-2015. We used the random forest classification algorithm to classify Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (+ETM) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) into eight main classes. We obtained accuracies of 88.4%, 90.6% and 93.4% with Kappa Indices of Agreement (KIA) of 0.86, 0.87 and 0.91 for 1975, 1995 and 2015, respectively. Grassland, shrubland and woodland were the major LULC types throughout 1975-2015 with percentage coverages of 50.6%, 23.7% and 20.9% for 1975; 54.2%, 23.5% and 15.9% for 1995; and 57.0%, 23.8% and 8.9% for 2015, respectively. Overall, woodland cover (-11.1%) was converted to most of the other cover types during 1975-2015. The loss of woodland cover is due to increasing human population size, agriculture, settlements and policy changes fires and elephant browsing. Effective conservation policies and regulation of socio-economic activities in the ecosystem and its buffer area are essential to ameliorate declining vegetation cover, especially along the protected areas boundaries.
Land Use and Cover Change, Land Cover Transformation, Random Forest Classification, GIS and Remote Sensing, Serengeti Ecosystem, Wildlife Habitats
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Hamza Khalid Kija, Joseph Ochieng Ogutu, Lazaro Johana Mangewa, John Bukombe, Francesca Verones, Bente Jessen Graae, Jafari Ramadhani Kideghesho, Mohammed Yahya Said, Emmanuel Fred Nzunda, Land Use and Land Cover Change Within and Around the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania, American Journal of Remote Sensing. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-19. doi: 10.11648/j.ajrs.20200801.11
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This article 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.
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