FORESTIST
Original Article

Evaluation of Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes in Oba Hills Forest Reserve, Osun State, Nigeria

1.

Department of Forest Resources Management, University of Ilorin, Faculty of Agriculture, Ilorin, Nigeria

FORESTIST 2022; 72: 137-148
DOI: 10.5152/forestis.2022.21039
Read: 226 Downloads: 60 Published: 07 March 2022

The study involved assessment of changes in Oba Hills Forest Reserve between 1984 and 2020 and simulated future scenario in the wake of rising impactful land uses in the protected forest land. Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI/TC of 1984, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020 were acquired from the United States Geological Survey. Ground-truth data were collected to enhance imagery re-classifications. The acquired images were pre-processed and processed using ArcGIS 10.5 to characterize land-use and land-cover changes in the area. Past changes between 1984 and 2020 were evaluated, and a possible future outlook was determined. Image classification accuracy was assessed using Kappa’s and other accuracy statistics and confusion matrix. Five land-cover classes were distinguished. The result revealed consistent losses of forest covers over 36-year period. There was a gross loss of 42.7% (1519 ha) in total forest covers within the period at 1.2% yr−1. Specifically, primary and secondary forests shrank by 12.3 and 66.8% between 1984 and 2020, respectively, whereas agriculture and grassland rose by 145.2 and 258.8% at 4 and 7.2% yr−1, respectively. Prime drivers of forest losses were subsistence agriculture and cocoa farming cum illegal timber extractions through flitching. These may have had severe negative impacts on faunal population while subjecting forest-dependent rural populace to livelihood challenges. On the other hand, critical components of the ecosystem may also be in jeopardy due to forest degradation, fragmentation, and eventual loss of high conservation values. Therefore, effective forest protection and conservation means, like providing alternative livelihood means, afforestation programs, and multi-stakeholder fore st management strategies, are advised.

Cite this article as: Adeyemi Adesoji, A. & Ayinde Moses, O. (2022). Evaluation of Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes in Oba Hills Forest Reserve, Osun State, Nigeria. Forestist, 72(2), 137-148.

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