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DISCOVERY AND MAPPING OF EAST AFRICAN COASTAL FORESTS IN SOUTH EAST TANZANIA

 

 

 

 

A vegetation map of the coastal forest in Kilwa and Lindi districts was produced from four Landsat scenes. Dense and evergreen coastal forest is in reddish colours. We discovered a remarkably large area of so far un-described coastal forest -  outside forest reserves - between Mitarure and Mitundumbea Forest Reserves. The area is called Namateule and holds a remarkably high landscape and plant diversity.

 

 

The East African Coastal Forests are among the highest biodiversity conservation priority areas in Africa, however, still little is known about their exact distribution. During an integrated biodiversity survey of Kilwa and Lindi district, Tanzania, we made discovery and mapping of the coastal forest types based upon special enhanced Landsat TM and field survey. The satellite image analysis revealed a huge variation in the structure and species of the different coastal forests which co-responded with the field surveys.

 

We discovered as such large areas of coastal forest so far not described in literature where also we found a number of new tree species. A large part of the newly discovered coastal forest is not protected and is on common land. Especially, a new large forest area at Namateule closed to the Rudodonga gorge contained a huge landscape diversity and large number of coastal forest types and new species. 

 

A botanical expedition lead by Erik Prins accompanied by botanists from University of Dar es Salaam - surveyed the coastal forest in Lindi region and discovered large areas of coastal forest that so far had not been mention in literature. The above Namateule area contained a large diversity of coastal forest types.

 

Our methods have implication for conservation and mapping of the remaining coastal forest and types of Eastern Africa.

 

PRINS, E. and Clark, G. P (2007) Discovery and enumeration of the Swahilian Coastal Forests in Lindi region, Tanzania, using Landsat TM data analysis Biodiversity and Conservation 16:1551-1565. DOI 10.1007/s10531-006-9047-4

 

Client: Danida 2001-2002

 

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