Table of Contents
ISRN Ecology
Volume 2011, Article ID 498258, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/498258
Research Article

Evaluation of Habitat Suitability for Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in Orang National Park Using Geo-Spatial Tools

1Geo-Spatial Technology Application Program, Aaranyak, Beltola, Assam, Guwahati 781028, India
2Departments of Geography, North Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya, Shillong 793022, India
3Land Use/Land Cover Division, National Remote Sensing Centre, Balanagar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500037, India

Received 15 January 2011; Accepted 21 February 2011

Academic Editor: S. Sabater

Copyright © 2011 Pranjit Kumar Sarma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Orang National Park (Orang NP) is one of the important conservation areas in the Brahmaputra valley within North East India biogeographic zone covering an area of 78.8 km2. It is one of the prime habitats of one horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in its distribution range in south Asia. Satellite imagery of November 2008 was used to evaluate the rhino habitat pattern in the park. A habitat suitability model for one horned rhino was prepared using primary and secondary sources. Result indicates that out of total geographical area of the park 25.85% is covered by woodland. About 26.06% is covered by wet alluvial grassland and 17.97% is covered by dry savannah grassland. Similarly degraded grassland is covering 15.23% and eastern seasonal swamp forest is covering 1.72% of the park. About 8.22% of the park is covered by water body and 6.83% is covered by sandy area. The habitat suitability model for rhino shows that 25.13% of the park is most suitable habitat for rhino, 13.62% is moderately suitable and 61.23% is less suitable habitat for rhino in the park. This information will help the park managers to conserve rhino and its habitat in Orang NP.