Monitoring of forest cover change in Pranahita Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India using remote sensing and GIS

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The present study assess spatial change in the land cover over the last decade in Pranahita Wildlife Sanctuary, Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh, India using Landsat TM and IRS P6 LISS III images. From 1993 to 2004, the forest cover had a severe change and lost about 248.87 ha. There was increase in the scrub cover to about 1637.17 ha, which was quantified to be 172.77 ha. Over all change analysis from 1993 to 2004 with reference to forest cover indicates, negative changes (loss of forest area) accounted for 1229.02 ha (9.04%) area and positive changes (gain of forest) for an area of 980.14 ha (9.04%). The results of the change detection using multi-date satellite imagery suggest that the most of the forest cover has been clearly degrading over the years. The study concluded that underlying causes for the forest cover change are multifarious including illegal logging, grazing, forest fire, expansion of agricultural lands and invasion of exotic species.