Using Google Earth for Planning, implementation and monitoring of invasive species management as a part of restoration initiative in and around Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

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Ramesh, V., Hanumanth, C.R., Moghe, K.A

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Junglescapes, a non-profit based in Bangalore is carrying out ecological restoration in a Tiger landscape of southern India since the last 12 years. A key aspect of the project involves management of Lantana camara over a large heterogeneous area of over 8000 ha. A mapping using GIS tools to detect relative abundance of Lantana camara helped prioritize areas for management. However, management of invasive species requires micro-level planning and implementation considering the topography, presence of native vegetation and secondary invasive species, etc.  Lantana management demands a high level of customized treatment and rigour which is difficult to achieve in larger plot sizes. These were aspects aimed to be addressed by this methodology. Land parcels of approximately 100 acres were selected using Google Earth in the priority areas. These were further divided into 10 to 12 acre grids. The grid map (polygons) and coordinates of the polygon corners were shared as KML / KMZ files and transferred to handheld GPS device. These grids were surveyed physically for documenting baseline conditions. This real time data in combination with photographs and Google image were used for developing the treatment plan for each grid. Use of Google Earth image with survey waypoints and photograph enabled virtual tour of the site which enabled coordination with field managers working on site. Post-implementation monitoring, resurgence of native vegetation and habitat use by fauna also were plotted in the Google Earth image, which provides an insight to the ecological role of the restored area as a wildlife life habitat in the larger context.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program