Landscapes surrounding protected areas, while still containing considerable biodiversity, have rapidly growing human populations and associated agricultural development in most of the developing world that tend to isolate them, potentially reducing their conservation value. Using field studies and multi-temporal Landsat imagery, we examine a forest park, Kibale National Park in western Uganda, its changes over time, and related land cover change in the surrounding landscape. We find Kibale has successfully defended its borders and prevents within-park deforestation and other land incursions, and has maintained tree cover throughout the time period of the study. Outside the park there was a significant increase in tea plantations and continued forest fragmentation and wetland loss. The question of whether the park is a conservation success because of the network of forest fragments and wetlands or in spite of them remains unanswered.
Tropical Conservation Science
Southworth, J., Hartter, H., Binford, M. W., Goldman, A., Chapman, C. A., Chapman,, L. J., Omeja, P. and Binford, E. 2010. Parks, people and pixels: evaluating landscape effects of an East African national park on its surroundings. Tropical Conservation Science Vol. 3 (2):122-142. Available online: www.tropicalconservationscience.org
© Jane Southworth, Joel Hartter, Michael W. Binford, Abraham Goldman, Colin A. Chapman, Lauren J. Chapman, Patrick Omeja, and Elizabeth Binford.