Stubb’s Creek Forest Reserve (SCFR) is the largest remaining forest in Akwa Ibom State. The reserve possesses fragile ecosystems with valuable fauna and flora species. Human activities have resulted to continued biodiversity degradation necessitating monitoring, protection and conservation. Forest cover change in SCFR was examined. Three sets of time-series satellite imageries were used to assess the trend in forest cover change in the study area. Integrated Land and Water Information System, and ARCGIS were used to analyse the imageries of 1993, 2003, 2013 and maps of the land cover were produced. Results indicated that between the period of 1993 and 2013, the overall forest cover change was 35.28 km2 (55.56%) with annual rate of 1.76 km2 (2.78%). Between 1993 and 2003, 21.07 km2 (35.50%) of forest was lost at an annual rate of 2.107 km2 (3.31%) and between 2003 and 2013 it declined to 14.21 km2 (33.50%) with an annual rate of 1.42 km2 (3.35%). This decline could be attributed to increased awareness on the importance of the forest reserve, shift in preferred source of energy, and concentration of infrastructural development. It was predicted that by 2033 the whole SCFR will be lost. This could bring about diverse disasters. Therefore, ecological restoration should be conducted. Human activities within the SCFR should be sustainable and environmentally friendly.
PAPER TITLE :FOREST COVER CHANGE IN STUBB’S CREEK FOREST RESERVE AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA
APPLIED TROPICAL AGRICULTURE | VOLUME 21 NUMBER 1 2016
- Author(s) : Ogar, D.A.*, Asuk, S.A. and Umanah, I.E.