Md. HUMAYUN-BIN-AKRAM
(Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Sylhet, Bangladesh)
Kazi Mohammad MASUM
(Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Sylhet, Bangladesh)
Yıl: 2020Cilt: 70Sayı: 2ISSN: 2602-4039Sayfa Aralığı: 77 - 84İngilizce

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Forest degradation assessment of Ratargul Special Biodiversity Protection Area for conservation implications
Forest degradation is threatening the biodiversity of moist tropical forests since the beginning of their development. Bangladesh is losing its forests and associated biodiversity continuously due to forest-dependent livelihoods. The only freshwater swamp forest of the Ratargul Special Biodiversity Protection Area in Bangladesh is also very prone to degradation due to anthropogenic disturbance. This distinct swamp forest has unique biological diversity compared to other forest types. To assess its degradation and to propose implications for conservation, sentinel images with 10×10 m resolution were used. Also, field data were collected and analyzed. This research produced a map of forest cover change and outlined an area that can be used in restoration planning. Branch cutting, dry season overgrazing, illegal tree felling, fuelwood collection, trampling by tourists, and insect and disease epidemics were identified as causes of degradation. Functional conservation effort ensured by strong political will and area-specific forest protection regulation is essential for the conservation of last swamp forest and its remnant biodiversity. Community-based conservation approaches need to be applied for mass awareness regarding this ecosystem's value and its sustainability.
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