Forest and woodland cover and change in coastal Tanzania and Kenya, 1990 to 2000

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Nature Kenya/East African Natural History Society


Forest and woodland cover and change were calculated for the Zanzibar-Inhambane biogeographical region of Tanzania and Kenya from ~1990 to ~2000. A cover and change map was derived from high-resolution satellite imagery from Landsat and supplemental data from aerial overflights, field surveys, and local knowledge. Analyses showed that around 6820 km2 of coastal forest habitat remained in ~2000 (2260 km2 in Kenya and 4560 km2 in Tanzania). In terms of change, a total of 424 km2 (6%) of forest was cleared between ~1990 and ~2000; 53 km2 in Kenya and 371 km2 in Tanzania. Rates of forest loss were 8 times higher in unprotected areas than in protected sites such as Forest Reserves and National Parks. Key Biodiversity Areas had forest loss rates 2.5 times faster than protected areas while Alliance for Zero Extinction sites had the slowest rates of forest loss for the region. These baseline forest cover and change estimates along with future updates can contribute to national and sub-national carbon emission baselines and assessments of species threat within the global Red List.


Journal of East African Natural History, 2010; 99(1):19-45


East Africa, KBAs, Landsat ETM+, Habitat monitoring, Protected areas