The spatial changes in forest cover of Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India over seven decades(1930–2012) in the last century has been quantified by using multi-temporal data from different sources.Over the period, the forest cover reduced by 970.8 km2 (23.6% of the total forest), and most significantlyduring the period, 1930–1975. Human-induced activities like conversion of forest land for agriculture,construction of dams and mining activities have been identified as major drivers of deforestation. Spatialanalysis indicates that 399 grids (1 grid = 1 × 1 km) have undergone large-scale changes in forest cover(>75 ha) during 1930–1975, while only 3 grids have shown >75 ha loss during 1975–1990. Annual netrate of deforestation was 0.58 during 1930–1975, which has been reduced substantially during 1975–1990 (0.04). Annual gross rate of deforestation in 2006–2012 is indeed low (0.01) as compared to thenational and global average. This study highlights the impact and effectiveness of conservation practicesin minimizing the rate of deforestation and protecting the Similipal Biosphere Reserve.
Volume 131, 2022
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