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Assessment of the red-crowned crane habitat in the Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve, East China

submitted by dittja 2 years and 1 month ago
As wildlife habitat is in constant evolution, periodic monitoring is essential to assess its quality. In this study, the change to the red-crowned crane habitat in the Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve was detected from multi-temporal remote sensing data from 1992 to 28 in a geographic information system. Habitat fragmentation was derived from both physical constraints and human disturbance. The changing habitat quality was assessed against five landscape indices. The results obtained from Landsat TM images indicate that potential habitat shrank 37.9 % during 1992–21, but recovered 99.4 % by 28. Suitable habitat shrank by 4,329 ha to a level below that of 1992 despite an increase of 4,747 ha in potential habitat due to an increase of 9,75 ha in fragmented areas. Both landscape indices and the red-crowned crane population reveal that suitable habitat was the most fragmented in 21, but the least fragmented in 1992. Therefore, it is inadequate to just restore wetland through artificial diversion of channel flow to the Reserve to preserve the crane habitat. Commensurate efforts should also be directed at improving habitat quality by minimizing human activities and spatially juxtaposing water and reed marshes harmoniously inside the Reserve.


Topic: Environment

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