Modeling Plausible Impacts of land use change on wildlife habitats, Application and validation: Lisar protected area, Iran

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6135, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 4111, Karaj , Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences P.O. Box 6446-14155, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The present study aims to simulate the spatial pattern of land use change in Lisar protected area,
Iran. Land cover maps for 1989, 2000, and 2007 were depicted using TM, ETM+, and IRS LISS-III images of
the area at stake. Images were classified using a merge of unsupervised and supervised classification. CAMarkov model was used to predict land cover maps as a top-down approach in investigating land use change. A comparison was made between the predicted and actual land use map of 2007 in order to examine the precision of the predicted map and the validation of the CA-Markov model. Finally, by computing the rate of land use change on wildlife habitats, we examined the possible impacts of land use change on wildlife habitats. Meanwhile, the impact of variables on degradation in the region was studied to develop a bottom-up model, which enabled us to predict the possible impact of socio-economic drivers on protected areas. The findings of the study suggest that the region will experience a degradation of at least 5 hectares where the population increases by 0.71 or more in the predicted period of time. Moreover, if the trend of land exploitation and current management policy of the region continue as before, the region will experience at least 5.2 hectares degradation on the sensitive habitats.

Keywords