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Bhavna Sharma and Kiranmay Sarma

Abstract

In the present study, an attempt has been made to discover the impacts of various developmental activities on the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong wildlife corridor of Assam, India, using geospatial technology; as well as to predict the future status of the wildlife corridor by using the Cellular Automata Markov Model. Due to various anthropogenic activities the condition of the natural corridor has deteriorated, and in recent years many wild animals have been killed by road traffic accidents; in particular, greater one-horned (Indian) rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) are killed indiscriminately by the poachers, having been deviated from their regular routes. Changes were evident during the two decades between 1990 and 2010, when a large number of dense forest areas were converted to open forest, combined with losses of areas of scrub and marshy land. The area under agriculture and plantation crop increased along with the grassland during the decades. It has been found that the forests in Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong corridor are fragmented, and the area within the corridor is shrinking. There is considerable increase in patchiness, proportion of edge, and a perforated reduction of core areas within the corridor. The predicted land use/cover map of Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong corridor shows expansion of agricultural land, as well as plantation areas. It is estimated that only 25.66 percent of the present dense forest and 20.72 percent of open forest will remain by 2030, while areas under agriculture and plantation will increase by 33.91 and 5.33 percent, respectively.