Specialized Mapping using Climatic Zones for Habitat Conservation

Suneet Naithani, V. B. Mathur


Mapping of vegetation strata in Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA) was conducted using Remote Sensing and GIS. Mapping of major vegetation communities was done by using satellite imageries (FCC of IRS 1-B LISS II Sept/Oct 1993, scale 1:50,000). Ground truthing was carried out for preparation of interpretation key and classification scheme. Mainly the 11 Forest and 11 Non-Forest classes have been delineated in two density classes, viz., close forest (> 40% Canopy cover) and open forest (< 40-10% Canopy cover) for the entire study area. The total area of GHNPCA is estimated to be 1171 km2. On the basis of Climate zoning using contours as climate separators, finally the 14 vegetation classes and 11 non-forest classes were generated including Temperate, Sub-Alpine and Alpine forests and grasslands, while slope grasses around habitation occupy 28.13 km2. Escarpments including exposed rocks with slope grasses and Alpine Exposed Rocks with Slope Grasses are 211.12 km2. The area under glaciers and snow is estimated to be 18.68 km2 and 183.87 km2 respectively. Grasslands form the highest cover in the GHNPCA and cover about 18.9% of the total area. Temperate Mixed Forests occupy majority of the forests is about 17.01% of the total area. The conservation area is also dominated by Alpine Grassland i.e. about 193, 89 Km2. The main upper storey species in conifers are Pinus wallichiana, Abies pindrow, Picea smithiana, Cedrus deodara, while broad leaved species Asculus indica, Quercus semecarpifolia, Quercus dietata, Betula utilis are dominant in the study area. The information generated through vegetation mapping valuable for park authorities and can be correlated with the distribution of fauna and avifauna in different habitats. The specialized vegetation mapping on the basis of climatic zoning is seems to be useful for monitoring, assessing and as database will assist the wildlife managers in conservation of endangered species.


Conservation; GHNPCA; Habitat; RS & GIS; Vegetation Mapping and Wildlife

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