Assessment of Cover Change in the Harenna Habitats in Bale Mountains, Ethiopia, Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Misrak Alemu, K. V. Suryabhagavan, M. Balakrishnan


An assessment was made on the extent and rate of forest cover change in Harenna forest, Ethiopia during 1986 to 2006 using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Landsat images ETM+ of the year 1986, and SPOT 2006 were used to identify forest cover changes, rate of deforestation and the type of land-cover to which the forest was converted. The major land-use/land-cover types in the study area were rain forest, ericaceous forest, afro-alpine vegetation, shrub land, grass land, bare land, and agriculture and settlement areas. The total area of agriculture and settlements increased from 63,950 ha. (9.4%) to 1,00,080 ha. (12.3%), grass land increased from 33,185 ha. (4.8%) to 48,603 ha. (7.1%) and afro-alpine vegetation increased from 14,294 ha. (2.1%) to 22,827 ha. (3.4%) during the period 1986–2006. During the same period, the forest cover has declined from 3,13,472 ha. to 2,92,274 ha. This implies that the forest coverage had decreased by 21,198 ha. at an average rate of 1,059.9 ha. per year


Afro-alpine Vegetation; Ericaceous Forest; Forest Cover Change; Harenna Forest

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