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Inicio  /  Environments  /  Vol: 2 Núm: 4 Par: Decembe (2015)  /  Artículo

Protected Area Monitoring in the Niger Delta Using Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing

Alex Okiemute Onojeghuo and Ajoke Ruth Onojeghuo    


Despite their importance, available information on the dynamics of forest protected areas and their management in the Niger delta are insufficient. We present results showing the distribution and structure of forest landscapes across protected areas in two states (Cross River and Delta) within the Niger Delta using multi-temporal remote sensing. Satellite images were classified and validated using ground data, existing maps, Google Earth, and historic aerial photographs over 1986, 2000 and 2014. The total area of forest landscape for 1986, 2000 and 2014 across the identified protected areas were 535,671 ha, 494,009 ha and 469,684 ha (Cross River) and 74,631 ha, 68,470 ha and 58,824 ha (Delta) respectively. The study showed annual deforestation rates for protected areas across both states from 1986 to 2000 were 0.8%. However, the overall annual deforestation rate between 2000 and 2014 was higher in Delta (1.9%) compared to Cross River (0.7%). This study shows accelerated levels of forest fragmentation across protected areas in both states as a side effect of the prevalence of agricultural practices and unsupervised urbanisation. The results show the need for government intervention and policy implementation, in addition to efforts by local communities and conservation organisations in protected area management across ecologically fragile areas of Nigeria.

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