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Oil in the Sahara: mapping anthropogenic threats to Saharan biodiversity from space

Duncan, Clare and Kretz, Daniela and Wegmann, Martin and Rabeil, Thomas and Pettorelli, Nathalie (2014) Oil in the Sahara: mapping anthropogenic threats to Saharan biodiversity from space. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 369 (1643), pp. 1-12. Royal Society Publishing. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0191. ISSN 0962-8436.

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Official URL: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1643/20130191


Deserts are among the most poorly monitored and understood biomes in the world, with evidence suggesting that their biodiversity is declining fast. Oil exploration and exploitation can constitute an important threat to fragmented and remnant desert biodiversity, yet little is known about where and how intensively such developments are taking place. This lack of information hinders local efforts to adequately buffer and protect desert wildlife against encroachment from anthropogenic activity. Here, we investigate the use of freely available satellite imagery for the detection of features associated with oil exploration in the African Sahelo-Saharan region. We demonstrate how texture analyses combined with Landsat data can be employed to detect ground-validated exploration sites in Algeria and Niger. Our results show that site detection via supervised image classification and prediction is generally accurate. One surprising outcome of our analyses is the relatively high level of site omission errors in Niger (43%), which appears to be due to non-detection of potentially small-scale, temporary exploration activity: we believe the repeated implementation of our framework could reduce the severity of potential methodological limitations. Overall, our study provides a methodological basis for the mapping of anthropogenic threats associated with oil exploitation that can be conducted across desert regions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/91662/
Document Type:Article
Title:Oil in the Sahara: mapping anthropogenic threats to Saharan biodiversity from space
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Duncan, ClareInstitute of Zoology, Zoological Society of LondonUNSPECIFIED
Kretz, DanielaUniversity of BayreuthUNSPECIFIED
Wegmann, Martinmartin.wegmann (at) uni-wuerzburg.deUNSPECIFIED
Rabeil, ThomasSahara Conservation Fund, Niamey, Republic of NigerUNSPECIFIED
Pettorelli, NathalieInstitute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London UKUNSPECIFIED
Date:14 April 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1098/rstb.2013.0191
Page Range:pp. 1-12
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
Keywords:Remote Sensing, Biodiversity, Oil Exploration, Desert, Conservation, Landsat
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Geoscientific remote sensing and GIS methods
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center
Deposited By: Wöhrl, Monika
Deposited On:12 Dec 2014 14:51
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:21

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