Tuesday, 5 August 2003

Forest Atlas of Andhra Pradesh Is Ready

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 5: For the first time the State will have its own "forest atlas" which guides people on the topography of the State's reserve forests and its fast declining wildlife.
The State Forests Department is using the state-of-the-art satellite imagery technology to prepare the forest atlas with both colour and black and white satellite photographs. The forest atlas is likely to be in place by the end of this year.
"It will give spatial distribution of forest type along with density. It involves overlay analysis of forest types with forest density coverage. The forest type map will be generated using multi-spectral LISS-III (colour cameras) and hyper-spectral data. The density mapping will be done using PAN (black and white images) data," a senior forest official in the GIS told this correspondent.
The department will also map the bamboo areas in reserve forests using the satellite remote sensing data and the existing forest working plans. Based on this the probable out-turn will be estimated. Officials are now busy taking inventory of bamboo vegetation. Vegetation type mapping will be taken up employing satellite data and forest working plans.
The forests department boasts of 63,814 sq km of forest area while actual dense forest area is just 23,048 sq km. As much as 19,859 sq km is under "open forest" which means thin or degraded forest area. The proposed forest atlas will give an idea on the nature of various forest types, the flora and fauna they contain, and the density or otherwise of reserve forests.

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