Capturing the fugitive: Applying remote sensing to terrestrial animal distribution and diversity

Publication Type  Journal Article
Authors  Leyequien, Euridice; Verrelst, Jochem; Slot, Martijn; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Heitkönig, Ignas M. A.; Skidmore, Andrew
Year  2007
Name of Journal  International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Volume  9
Number  1
Pages  1-20
Abstract  Amongst many ongoing initiatives to preserve biodiversity, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment again shows the importance to slow down the loss of biological diversity. However, there is still a gap in the overview of global patterns of species distributions. This paper reviews how remote sensing has been used to assess terrestrial faunal diversity, with emphasis on proxies and methodologies, while exploring prospective challenges for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. We grouped and discussed papers dealing with the faunal taxa mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates into five classes of surrogates of animal diversity: (1) habitat suitability, (2) photosynthetic productivity, (3) multi-temporal patterns, (4) structural properties of habitat, and (5) forage quality. It is concluded that the most promising approach for the assessment, monitoring, prediction, and conservation of faunal diversity appears to be the synergy of remote sensing products and auxiliary data with ecological biodiversity models, and a subsequent validation of the results using traditional observation techniques.
Keywords  Biodiversity; Animal species richness; NDVI; Habitat mapping; Habitat heterogeneity; Remote sensing
DOI  10.1016/j.jag.2006.08.002
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