Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et d'Aménagement du Territoire

Grazing suitability indicators from Earth Observation to improve buffalo-cattle contact risk models (GRAZEO)


GRAZEO is a 2-years project financed by the Belgian Science Agency. It is a spin-off of the EPISTIS project (Remote Sensing Tools to Study the Epidemiology and Space/Time Dynamics of Diseases ) where several models were developed using remote sensing and spatial modelling to stratify the risk for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) transmission between buffaloes and cattle in Kruger National Park (KNP) and its surroundings. In GRAZEO however, the emphasis will be put on the role of the natural vegetation as a key factor of habitat suitability for large herbivores. The abundance and quality of the forage source is known to be a key driver of feeding patterns and distribution of livestock and wild grazers in savannah rangelands. Therefore, the main aim of GRAZEO is to explore the potential of the new generation of very-high spatial and spectral resolution sensors, such as WorldView-2, for (i) developing methodologies for mapping grass patches, grass biomass and quality indicator (nitrogen concentration), as well as tree species communities as complementary forage quality indicator, at a scale compatible with savannah spatial heterogeneity and animal movements; (ii) Investigating how these improved inputs, along with adapted modelling processes and multiple scenarios testing can contribute to improving the buffalo-cattle contact modelling outputs.


Bailleur de fonds: la Politique Scientifique Fédérale belge (Belspo)


2012 - 2015