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Alien invasions from space observations: detecting feral goat impacts on Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands with the AVHRR

Alien invasions from space observations: detecting feral goat impacts on Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands with the AVHRR
Alien invasions from space observations: detecting feral goat impacts on Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands with the AVHRR
One of the greatest threats to native biodiversity is attributable to the invasion of habitats by alien species. In particular, feral animals can be some of the most aggressive and damaging introduced species in the natural environment, especially on isolated islands. Rapid growth of the feral goat population on Alcedo volcano, one of six volcanoes on the largest of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela, was first noted in 1991. Feral goat impacts on other islands in the archipelago have caused extensive degradation of native and endemic vegetation driving plant and animal species and subspecies to extinction or to the brink of extinction. Effective management of these feral herbivores demands knowledge of intensity and range of the areas that are being most heavily impacted. A time-series analysis of AVHRR NDVI 10-day maximum value composite datasets corresponding to the goat-infested area and a control area where relatively few goats exist spanning the period of 1992-1996 were analysed according to local seasonality. Statistically significant reductions in NDVI values for vegetated areas in the study area relative to the control area were detected, which was tested against fieldwork surveys. This study suggest that analysis of 1km2 resolution AVHRR data may provide a cost-effective means to evaluate the location and extent of vegetation impacts exerted by feral herbivores grazing in areas too remote for regular, comprehensive field observations.
0143-1161
423-433
Henderson, S.
1f160dd8-a921-4a12-91bb-588a1890c7f3
Dawson, T.P.
e85a1b83-5770-4fcb-bc16-c09338b40e19
Henderson, S.
1f160dd8-a921-4a12-91bb-588a1890c7f3
Dawson, T.P.
e85a1b83-5770-4fcb-bc16-c09338b40e19

Henderson, S. and Dawson, T.P. (2009) Alien invasions from space observations: detecting feral goat impacts on Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands with the AVHRR. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 30 (2), 423-433. (doi:10.1080/01431160802339472).

Record type: Article

Abstract

One of the greatest threats to native biodiversity is attributable to the invasion of habitats by alien species. In particular, feral animals can be some of the most aggressive and damaging introduced species in the natural environment, especially on isolated islands. Rapid growth of the feral goat population on Alcedo volcano, one of six volcanoes on the largest of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela, was first noted in 1991. Feral goat impacts on other islands in the archipelago have caused extensive degradation of native and endemic vegetation driving plant and animal species and subspecies to extinction or to the brink of extinction. Effective management of these feral herbivores demands knowledge of intensity and range of the areas that are being most heavily impacted. A time-series analysis of AVHRR NDVI 10-day maximum value composite datasets corresponding to the goat-infested area and a control area where relatively few goats exist spanning the period of 1992-1996 were analysed according to local seasonality. Statistically significant reductions in NDVI values for vegetated areas in the study area relative to the control area were detected, which was tested against fieldwork surveys. This study suggest that analysis of 1km2 resolution AVHRR data may provide a cost-effective means to evaluate the location and extent of vegetation impacts exerted by feral herbivores grazing in areas too remote for regular, comprehensive field observations.

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Published date: 2009

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Local EPrints ID: 64725
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/64725
ISSN: 0143-1161
PURE UUID: 981d2285-b206-4198-ae8e-1f3d69de5ac1

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Date deposited: 09 Jan 2009
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:21

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