After finishing around 7 months GIS Specialization courses from the University of California- Davis(UCDavis) via Coursera in the following courses:
- Fundamentals of GIS
- GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality
- Geospatial and Environmental Analysis
- Imagery, Automation, and
- Geospatial Analysis Project
I was challenged to come up with a Geospatial Analysis Project as my capstone project for the specialization, Where I could showcase what I learnt in the different courses of the specialization.
And I chose to do a Suitability analysis with the big question that says: Where can we build a reserve for Okapis in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).
Where can we build a reserve for Okapis in the DRCongo?
The okapi has recently been added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural
Resources (ICUN) so-called Red List of endangered species. In fact, the okapi has the dubious distinction of having jumped two ranks in the ICUN’s rating system, going from “near threatened” to “endangered”
in this second list update of the year.
The okapi’s population has decreased by more than half since 1995, and that rate is projected to continue.
Population estimates suggest that there are now fewer than 35,000 okapi left.
Habitat of the okapi
The okapi is a solitary animal that requires large secluded areas with dense tree cover. It requires a fresh
water source and particular foraging areas, and so its habitat has become limited to about 63,000 square kilometers of Ituri rainforest. Around a fifth of that forest constitutes the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, people and fighters sometimes invade that land hunt and kill the okapi.
Okapi prefer dense forests located at an altitude of 500 m to 1500 m [Didn’t do this analyses cause I couldn’t get the Digital Elevation Models(DEM) of the Areas of Interest(AOI) in time]
Using the raw data I got from Interactive Forestry Atlas of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(Version 1) from World Resources Institute/ ISBN Number: 978-1-56973-758-3
Using the data I got I did an analysis for the best habitat for the Okapi taking in consideration the following parameters on Congolese territory:
– A place in the dense forest
– Close to water sources
– Far from the towns and villages
– Far from roads and Rail ways
– Space of at least 1000Km2
– Out of the protected area
Note: I would finalize my analysis later because there is one parameter that was excluded in the analysis due to the data incompletion.(Applying the parameters to the Elevation between 500meters to 1500meters). The results are below.