Studentinformatie

MSc thesis subject: Land-use and forest loss in prime Chimpanzee habitat in the Boé region of Guinee-Bissau, West-Africa.

Chimbo Foundation (www.chimbo.org) aims at the conservation of the Western Chimpanzee in West-Afrika. This project aims to assess the long-term trend of habitat/forest-loss and the impact of forest fires therein, in prime habitat in the Boé-region of Guinee-Bissau. Analysis of satellite imageries and remote sensing are key-activities in this project.

The Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Chimpanzees in West Africa lists the Fouta Djallon Highlands in Guinea and Guinea Bissau as an Extremely Important Priority Area for the conservation of the Western Chimpanzee. These Highlands are probably home to more than 3,300 chimpanzees, which makes it one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in West Africa.

The Boé area of Guinea Bissau forms the western fringe of these Highlands. Most recent population estimates suggest a population of more than 700 chimpanzees in the Boé (Serra, 2007), or roughly 20% of the Fouta Djallon-population. The Action Plan urges for immediate action to improve the management plan for the Boé, with the support of a foreign NGO.

In 2007 this call for action was followed-up by the founding of the Chimbo Foundation in the Netherlands. The mission of Chimbo Foundation (www.chimbo.org) is to conserve and, where appropriate, regain the chimpanzee population in West Africa and the natural environment in which they live. The Boé currently forms the geographical heart of the activities of Chimbo. One of Chimbo’s main goals is to have a well-managed National Park and Bufferzone established.

The present proposal to develop a land-use map and analyse the habitat/forest-loss will provide key-information in our aim to achieve this goal. Basic information has already been gathered in a BSc-project (Yeung, 2017), but needs to be elaborated in a MSc-project.

Objectives

  • Development of a land-use map based on satellite imageries and remote sensing.
  • Analysis of the long-term trend of forest loss in the Boé region and assessment of the impacts of agriculture and associated early/late forest fires.

Literature

  • Yeung, Paul Quin, 2017. Forest Cover Change in prime Chimpanzee Habitat in the Boe region of Guinee-Bissau, West-Afrika. BSc Geo-information report Wageningen University.
  • Yeung, Paul Quin, 2017. Manual: Data processing of Forest cover Change and Burned Area.

Requirements

  • Willingness to carry out a minimum of two months fieldwork in the Boé region of Guinee-Bissau (Remote sensing a.o.)

Theme(s): Modelling & visualisation, Integrated Land Monitoring