University of Twente Student Theses


Modelling wildebeest distribution in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: An application of GIS and space-borne imagery

Kija, Hamza (2009) Modelling wildebeest distribution in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: An application of GIS and space-borne imagery.

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Abstract:Animal presence in a given time at a particular location is determined by multiple biotic and abiotic factors. In view of this, the study applied GIS and remote sensing techniques and statistical tools to analyze the effect of multiple environmental factors and single out the most important factors explaining wildebeest density in Serengeti Plains, Tanzania. Five species-environment hypotheses related to vegetation structure, rainfall, rivers (water availability), roads and elevation together with wildebeest density data were analyzed using simple and multiple regression. Positive relationship was detected for elevation and distance from the roads, while other factors were negatively related to wildebeest density. Based on coefficient of determination (r2), individually, higher variations were accounted by elevation (30%), vegetation structure (12%), and distance from rivers (8.3%), rainfall (6.4%) and distance from roads (2%). However, on the final model elevation turned out as the most important factor influencing density and spatial distribution of wildebeest by explaining a total variation of 35.5%. Future researches are proposed to repeat the present study with census data from different years and to include other factors such as vegetation greenness, soil types, and effect of fire, temperature, predation and other human induced disturbances which were beyond the scope of the present study. Findings of the present study are expected to contribute information to the existing species-environment knowledge and to facilitate management and conservation of wildebeest in Serengeti ecosystem. Keywords: Wildebeest, environmental factors, spatial distribution, Serengeti Plains, GIS, Remote sensing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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