Open Access

Analysing the rate of land use and land-cover changes in Gambari Forest Reserve, Nigeria


This research work discusses the phenomenon of land use and land cover, which has undergone constant changes over the past few decades due to major variations in the environment caused by anthropogenic and natural factors. This study is supported by a long time series of land use and land-cover satellite data of the Gambari Forest Reserve boundary map for 1984, 2004, and 2020. A maximum likelihood classification scheme was employed to classify the satellite imageries using ArcGIS 10.1 software to derive the spatial patterns and temporal variation of the land-use and land-cover change (LULC) classes: dense forest (DF), light forest (LF) and non-forest (NF). Data on deforestation of the study area showed that the area of DF increased from 31.7 km2 (23.4%) to 72.8 km2 (54.4%) within a 36-year time series, with a percentage change of 31.0%. The area of LF decreased from 79.2 km2 (65.4%) to 51.2 km2 (41.5%), with a percentage change of −23.9%, and that of NF decreased from 14.7 km2 (11.2%) to 2.6 km2 (4.1%), with a percentage change of −7.1%. This indicates that it would be reasonable to anticipate an increase in deforestation in the future.