Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biology/Environmental Biology

First Advisor

Kamaljit Singh Bawa

Second Advisor

Garrison Wilkes

Third Advisor

Zong-Guo Xia


Deforestation and degradation of forest areas, including those in the Protected Areas (PAs), are major concerns in India. There were 2 broad objectives of the study: the technological objective pertained to the development of state-of-art programs that could serve as Decision Support Systems while finalizing plans and policy interventions, while the other objective aimed at generating geo-spatial data in 2 PAs. A part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, Manas Tiger Reserve (MTR), Assam, India having an area of 2837.12 sq km and an important part of Rajaji-Corbett Tiger Conservation Unit, Rajaji National Park (RNP), Uttarakhand, India, having an area of 820.42 sq km, were taken for the assessment of land use and land cover (LULC) change during 1990-2004. Simulation was undertaken in a smaller area of 1.2 km * 1.2 km right on the fringe of RNP. Three advanced geo-spatial programs - Multi-Algorithm Automation Program (MAAP), Data Automatic Modification Program (DAMP) and Multi-Stage Simulation Program (MUSSIP) - developed by the author were used extensively. Based on the satellite data, MAAP was used for the rapid assessments of LULC of 2004 and 1990; DAMP was used for the spectral modification of the satellite data of the adjacent scenes of 2004 and of 1990; and MUSSIP was used to simulate LULC maps for the future periods (till 2018).These programs produced very high accuracy levels: 91.12% in 2004 and 89.67% in 1990 were obtained for MTR; and 94.87% in 2004 and 94.10% in 1990 were obtained for RNP; 93.40% pixel-to-pixel accuracy and 0.7904 for kappa were achieved for simulation. The annual rate of loss of forests (0.41% in MTR and 1.20% in RNP) and loss of water (1.79% in MTR and 1.69% in RNP) during 1990-2004 is a matter of serious concern. The scenario analysis in the study area for simulation revealed that the deforestation rate of 1.27% per year during 2004-2018 would increase to 2.04% if the human population growth rate is enhanced by 10%. Hence these PAs need urgent restoration measures and effective conservation planning to address the problems of deforestation, severe degradation and immense loss of water.