Use of Remote Sensing and GIS in detecting the Spread of Mesquite (Prosopies chilenses): A case Study of Elgetaina locality (Northern White Nile State)

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Yousif, Mustafa
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The present study was conducted in ELgetaina area, Northern White Nile State. ELgetaina area lies between latitudes (13° 30΄- 15° 00΄) N and Longitudes (32° 30΄- 33° 00΄) E, covering an area of 16,000 hectares. The objective of the study was to assess the spread of Mesquite in northern White Nile State and its impact on agricultural areas as well as to investigate the perception of local communities towards Mesquite spread. Moderate Satellite Images Spectral radiometric (MODIS) of low resolution images, for seven successive years (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007), were used to monitor Mesquite spread. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was computed to provide a basis for detection of Mesquite density in each pixel for every year. An image product was selected during the last week of February for each year, selection of imagery was made in the dry season when Mesquite cover was easy to identify and assess. A social survey was undertaken in the study area to assess the perception of different community members towards the use of Mesquite and its control. 96 respondents of A random sample selected for this research. The study revealed that there is an increasing trend in Mesquite spread of 228.45 hectares / year which coincides with a decline in the agricultural lands, whereas bare soil did not show a specific pattern. This increase was attributed to various factors; namely animals, institutional setup and absence of clear vision on agricultural rotation as well as the migration of farmers to urban areas. The study concluded that Mesquite has been regarded both as anxious weed and at the same time provides fuelwood, fixes sand dunes and plays an important role in the livelihood of the local communities in the study area. x i The study recommended that high resolution data for monitoring of Mesquite can be used for such assessment in areas of similar environmental conditions in the Sudan, likewise management plans for economic utilization of the existing Mesquite stands is considered necessary.