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This chapter starts with a detailed characterisation of the human–elephant conflict zone. We describe both the source and destination regions, providing information on their location, physiographic, climatic natural vegetation and administrative characteristics. We applied a variety of landscape ecological techniques to determine the ecological character of the studied area. A spatial analysis of heterogeneity was calculated through different patch metrics, including edge density, forest core, patch shape and Euclidean nearest-neighbour metrics, using FRAGSTATS and ArcGIS software. Moreover, detailed field survey–based information on the composition, pattern and association of plant species was collected through randomly selected microhabitats covering all forest beats (forest administrative units) of both the Dalma Forest area and the Panchet Forest Division. The nature of forests as elephant habitats was measured through patch arrangement and fractal dimension techniques. We identified different factors behind forest fragmentation, for example, temporal change in forest cover, shrinkage of forest cover because of agriculture and settlement expansion, construction of railways and roads, mining and quarrying activities. Patterns of temporal change in land use/land cover in general and forest cover in particular were identified by analysing Landsat TM images of 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2014. Finally, the effects of factors such as the construction of roadways and railways, mining and quarrying activities and forest encroachment in both the source and destination regions were examined through cartographic diagrams and geographical information systems.
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- Ecological Biodiversity of Panchet Forest Division and Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee
- Chapter 2
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