Habitat evaluation for sarus crane in the Keoladeo National Park using IRS LISS III and pan merged data and GIS
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The Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, a man-made fresh water wetland carved out of a natural depression on the floodplain of two minor tributaries of the Yamuna-Gambhir and the Banganga is the country’s finest waterfowl habitat. This important wetland was set aside as a bird sanctuary in 1956 and it was elevated to the status of a National Park in 1981. It was also designated a Ramsar site- a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar convention. This important wetland has distinction of being the only Indian wetland to be included under both the Ramsar and the World Heritage convention.
The attempt has been made to evaluate the habitat of Sarus crane in the Keoladeo National Park using satellite data — IRS LISS III and PAN merged product and GIS. Geocoded data of IRS —1C LISS III of 21 March 1999 on 1: 50,000 scale and PAN data of March 17, 1999 were used to generate the vegetation cover type map and open water. The maps showing drainage, human habitations, contours, roads, etc. were prepared using the Survey of India topographical sheets and contour map of park area. Information regarding habitat parameters was collected from the existing literature and field observations. The Sarus crane mainly fed in the wetland on the rhizome ofNymphaea sp.,Scirpus tuberosus andEleocharis plantaginea. As there were changes in their habitat requirements at different seasons, the sighting of Sarus crane in each habitat were recorded along with the time and activity during observation. The most utilized habitat for the entire period of study was moderately wet grassland followed by pools. The pools were used mainly during the summer. The water depth requirement observed was between 30–40 cm and 20–40 cm. The suitability maps for Sarus crane were then generated using all remote sensing based and conventional information using rule based equations in the GIS within the Keoladeo National Park.
KeywordsDigital Elevation Model Habitat Suitability Model Habitat Evaluation Waterfowl Habitat World Heritage Convention
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