Satellite Imaging Corp.

Satellite Images and GIS Supports Conservation Efforts in Virunga National Park, Africa

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC) in cooperation with GeoEye Foundation (formerly Space Imaging) produced a 1m Natural Color IKONOS Satellite Image mosaic for an area covering the Virunga National Park in Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda. This image data was produced to support GIS mapping projects for the assessment, management and monitoring of the Mountain Gorilla Habitat and the Land Changes in around the National Parks.

Threatened by habitat loss, poaching, deforestation and other factors, wildlife in Africa is declining in an alarming rate. Researchers and Conservationist’s have been monitoring wildlife populations for decades, traditional capture and tag methods have been a primary tool, but they are not the most efficient when dealing with large animals and animals in remote locations. This may revolutionize the way endangered wildlife in remote areas of the world are counted and monitored. To understand why and where species are being lost, satellite imagery offers certain advantages such as watching vast areas of the Earth all at once on a regular basis and by making comparisons over time possible to analyze and monitor what is happening on the ground. High resolution satellites images and GIS can directly observe species habitats and their environment over time which allows researchers to predict the best remaining areas to protect and manage.

Virunga National Park

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IKONOS – Visoke Volcano, DRC and Rwanda, Africa
Mountain Gorilla Habitat

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3D Terrain Model

Copyright © 2007 GeoEye. All Rights Reserved.

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Gorilla Family Group 13 Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Photo Credit: Professor Richard S. Muller

VIDEO

Recent Gorilla Executions in the Virungas

Video Credit: National Geographic Society

Wildlife Conservation Mapping

Classification of Ecosystems is easily recognizable on satellite images. Vegetation, complemented with ecological data (such as elevation, humidity, drainage, salinity of water and characteristics of water bodies) are each determining modifiers that separate partially distinct sets of species. This is true not only for plant species, but also for species of animals, fungi and bacteria. The degree of ecosystem distinction is subject to the physiognomic modifiers that can be identified on an image and/or in the field.

High resolution satellites images can directly observe species and their habitat on the ground and in their environment used in tandem with GIS Mapping which allows researchers to predict the best remaining areas to protect and manage. Satellite data facilitates the production of global land use and land cover maps, and geographic information systems (GIS) allows researchers to integrate satellite and population data efficiently. Increased human population often leads to greater influence on the environment and sharper declines in species and ecosystems. Land transformation probably poses the single greatest threat to biodiversity, resulting in habitat loss and/or fragmentation for wild species. Beyond its effects on the nearby area, it can have global consequences, such as worldwide changes.

3D Flythrough Movie – Visoke Volcano

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Broadband connection and QuickTime player required. Size: 18 MB

<1m Stereo IKONOS Satellite Image Data and 5m DTM

© 2007 GeoEye/Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

To View the News Article on PRWeb Click the link;

http://www.prweb.com/releases/satellite/gis/prweb545494.htm

August 22, 2007

Congo Gorilla Killings Fueled by Illegal Charcoal Trade – (Click Here for Full Story by National GeographicSociety)

Emergency Gorilla Protection Force Deployed in Congo - (Click Here for Full Story by National GeographicSociety)

Satellite Image Technology for Virunga National Park – More Information ( Click Here)

Conservation Alone ‘ is not enough’ (Click Here for Full Story by BBC)

Gorillas Head Race to Extinction (Click Here for Full Story by BBC)

To view interactive image of Virunga National Park in Google

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