G R Pramod Kumar SRF, Dept of Environmental Science, Bangalore University


Assessment of encroachment and consequent anthropogenic impacts on forest of Hassan District using remote sensing & GIS
Tropical countries with a huge population pressure and widespread poverty are the main frontier of deforestation. The forests are depleting mainly due to illegal logging, developmental projects and conversion to agricultural purposes. In this context, an attempt was made to identify the forest encroachment in Hassan district using satellite images of 1990, 2000 and 2010. The images were classified using visual and digital interpretation techniques to generate maps of vegetation land use pattern, encroachment extent and zonation. A detailed change analysis of 1990, 2000 and 2010 images showed that a high proportion of the forest has been converted to agriculture, construction of hydro power projects, installation of wind mills and building road networks. The result shows a total of 4452.7 ha of forest land encroached in the district. There is no significant increase in the forest encroachment from 1990-2000 (N=8, CI=95%, p=0.06), but it is significantly different from 2000-2010 (N=8, CI=95%, p=0.01). It is also observed that there is a less positive correlation between the increase in the total population against the amount of forest encroachment for the corresponding decades.