Land Use and Landscape Pattern Changes on the Inside and Outside of Protected Areas in Urbanizing Selangor State, Peninsular Malaysia

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Unabated land use changes in developing countries have imperilled the urban ecosystem resilience. An urban protected area is one of the critical systems to absorb disturbance regimes in the metropolitan area, but it is increasingly pressured by urbanization. Therefore, assessing their land use and landscape pattern changes are pivotal to identify the conservation capacity. We developed land use maps for Klang Gate, Bukit Kutu, and Sungai Dusun wildlife reserves to assess their spatial and temporal land use changes between 1988 and 2012. The degree of fragmentation, the intensity of human impact and structural connectedness for these wildlife reserves were also quantified. The findings revealed that Klang Gate which located adjacent to the highly urbanizing area experienced a very significant loss of forest while built-up area and commercial agriculture gradually encroached into the reserve. It also has a higher degree of fragmentation and human impact than the other two reserves. Human impact inside of Klang Gate was concomitant to the outside. However, Bukit Kutu almost undisturbed and Sungai Dusun was slightly intruded by commercial agriculture. The results help different stakeholders, such as managing authorities and policy planners to strategize new land use planning that utilize limited land-based resources for future economic and social development. As the findings showed that urban protected areas alone are not sufficient in maintaining the urban ecosystem; therefore new conservation planning that integrates other urban green spaces at their surrounding is critical to ameliorating the conservation on a long-term basis.

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