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Proceedings Paper

Supporting elephant conservation in Sri Lanka through MODIS imagery
Author(s): Kithsiri Perera; Ryutaro Tateishi
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Paper Abstract

The latest national elephant survey of Sri Lanka (2011) revealed Sri Lanka has 5,879 elephants. The total forest cover for these elephants is about 19,500 sq km (2012 estimation) and estimated forest area is about 30% of the country when smaller green patches are also counted. However, studies have pointed out that a herd of elephants need about a 100 sq km of forest patch to survive. With a high human population density (332 people per sq km, 2010), the pressure for land to feed people and elephants is becoming critical. Resent reports have indicated about 250 elephants are killed annually by farmers and dozens of people are also killed by elephants. Under this context, researchers are investigating various methods to assess the elephant movements to address the issues of Human-Elephant-Conflict (HEC). Apart from various local remedies for the issue, the conservation of elephant population can be supported by satellite imagery based studies. MODIS sensor imagery can be considered as a successful candidate here. Its spatial resolution is low (250m x 250m) but automatically filters out small forest patches in the mapping process. The daily imagery helps to monitor temporal forest cover changes. This study investigated the background information of HEC and used MODIS 250m imagery to suggest applicability of satellite data for Elephant conservations efforts. The elephant movement information was gathered from local authorities and potentials to identify bio-corridors were discussed. Under future research steps, regular forest cover monitoring through MODIS data was emphasized as a valuable tool in elephant conservations efforts.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8524, Land Surface Remote Sensing, 85241N (21 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.979382
Show Author Affiliations
Kithsiri Perera, Univ. of Southern Queensland (Australia)
Ryutaro Tateishi, Chiba Univ. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8524:
Land Surface Remote Sensing
Dara Entekhabi; Yoshiaki Honda; Haruo Sawada; Jiancheng Shi; Taikan Oki, Editor(s)

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