Forest Cover and Land Use Change in Ngumburuni Forest Reserve, Rufiji District, Tanzania
The present study was carried in Ngumburuni Forest Reserve (NFR), Rufiji District, Coast Region, Tanzania to determine the status of forest vegetation cover under the influence of land use intensification in the surrounding environment over the period of 1985 to 2008. Socio-economic surveys were conducted to gather information pertaining to land use and causes of forest cover changes from three adjacent villages namely: Umwe north, Muyuyu and Mangwi. Landsand TM satellite imagery approach was, also, used to reflect on the forest vegetation cover dynamics over time using satellite images of 1985, 1995 and 2004 years. The results revealed that the major causes of changes in vegetation cover in Ngumburuni forest reserve were the existence of several forest management practices such as cultivation, logging and charcoaling. Similarly, analysis of satellite images confirmed expanding and shrinkage of some vegetation covers within the forest over time. The changes were more pronounced in the period 1995 to 2004 compared to the period 1985 to 1995. To reduce further degradation of the forest, several measures are suggested in this study.
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