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Wildlife habitat suitability analysis around Madihan forest, Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh, India: a Geospatial approach

Laxmi Nageshwari Goparaju, Firoz Ahmad, Debadityo Sinha
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The tropical dry deciduous forests of Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh (state) in India are facing severe threat from agricultural expansion, increased urbanization, infrastructure development and unsustainable use of forest produce. As a result the forests are now fragmented and wildlife habitat is vanishing. Dwindling numbers of wild animal species has become a cause of concern.

The present study has analyzed satellite remote sensing data of Landsat OLI (2013) in conjunction with GIS and support of GPS to identify suitable habitat for wild animals. Various thematic maps like land use/land cover, forest cover type, lakes, roads and slope data were prepared in support of the objective of the paper. The weighted overlay method was used for integration of the thematic layers for identification of potential habitat and corridors for wild life movement. Most suitable (2.54%), moderately suitable (12.0%) and least suitable (16.20%) areas were delineated and represented in a map. Highly suitable habitat was found at Dadri and Kotwa forest. Moderately suitable habitat was found in Darhi Ram forests. Least suitable areas were found in the outer fringes of Kotwa, Dadri, Darhi Ram and Sarson forests.

Such data is the pre requisite for wildlife conservation effort. 

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