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Changing Landscape of Marine National Park and Sanctuary, Gulf of Kachchh: Ecological Assessment of Mangroves and Coral Reefs

  • Mohit KumarEmail author
  • Rohit Magotra
  • Jyoti Parikh
  • A. S. Rajawat
Research Article

Abstract

This paper assesses the ecological changes in mangroves and coral reefs of Marine National Park and Sanctuary (MNP&S), Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat, India during 1972–2014. Landsat 1 Multi Spectral Scanner data were used for 1972 to map the mangroves and coral reefs whereas Landsat 8 Optical Land Imager data were used to map the coral reef extent only, in MNP&S in 2014. Published literature sources were used to record the area of mangroves and coral reefs of MNP&S for various years between 1972 and 2014, and the changes were analyzed. For the year 1972, total mangrove area mapped is 175.36 sq. km and the total reef area mapped comes out to be 402.14 sq. km. The total area of reef in MNP&S computed for 2014 is 443.49 sq. km. Our analysis shows that MNP&S witnessed severe loss of mangroves till 1992, with annual rate of mangrove degradation being 2.89%. Exploitation by local communities and careless release/spillage of oil and brine by nearby industries were found to be two major anthropogenic factors responsible for degradation of mangroves over a period of four decades. Major reasons found for degradation of reefs in MNP&S were mining and deposition of sediments. The area estimates for coral reefs reported in this paper for 2014 are the latest figures available for coral reefs in this region. It is recommended that monitoring of coastal habitats in MNP&S should be done regularly to understand the changes in the ecology of the area.

Keywords

Marine National Park and Sanctuary Mangroves Coral reefs Gulf of Kachchh Remote sensing 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is part of the project “Review of Status of Marine National Park, Jamnagar: Evolving a Vision Statement for Management of MNP” funded by Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), Germany and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India vide grant no. No. 22-3/06-CS. Authors thank MNP officials in Jamnagar for providing necessary permission to visit the area as well as for accessing the information about MNP&S.

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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe)New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Institute of ScienceNirma UniversityAhmedabadIndia
  3. 3.Space Applications Centre (SAC)AhmedabadIndia

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