Use of remote sensing to measure change in the extent of habitat for the critically endangered Jerdon's Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus in India
Senapathi, D., Vogiatzakis, I., Jeganathan, P., Gill, J. A., Green, R. E., Bowden, C. G. R., Rahmani, A. R., Pain, D. and Norris, K. (2007) Use of remote sensing to measure change in the extent of habitat for the critically endangered Jerdon's Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus in India. Ibis, 149 (2). pp. 328-337. ISSN 0019-1019
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2006.00634.x
Jerdon's Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus is one of the most endangered and least understood birds in the world. It is endemic to scrub habitats in southeast India which have been lost and degraded because of human land use. We used satellite images from 1991 and 2000 and two methods for classifying land cover to quantify loss of Jerdon's Courser habitat. The scrub habitats on which this species depends decreased in area by 11-15% during this short period (9.6 years), predominantly as a result of scrub clearance and conversion to agriculture. The remaining scrub patches were smaller and further from human settlements in 2000 than in 1991, implying that much of the scrub loss had occurred close to human population centres. We discuss the implications of our results for the conservation of Jerdon's Courser and the use of remote sensing methods in conservation.