Title: Geographic Layers as Landscape Drivers for the Marco Polo Argali Habitat in the Southeastern Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan

Authors: Eric Ariel L. Salas *, Raul Valdez and Kenneth G. Boykin
Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003, USA; E-Mails: rvaldez@nmsu.edu (R.V.); kboykin@nmsu.edu (K.G.B.)

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: easalas@nmsu.edu; Tel.: +1-575-646-2691.

Abstract: We described in this report the essential geographic layers used as landscape drivers for the Marco Polo Argali habitat in the eastern Tajik Pamirs. Using remote sensing techniques and geographic information systems (GIS), individual layers were generated in order to acquire more information on argali patterns and habitat suitability and to make the dataset available online. We introduced an improved object-based image analysis in our mapping of the vegetation cover by utilizing spectral, topographic, and texture variables. We exhausted every Landsat image band and texture feature combination to select the best pairing of band-texture components. For vegetation class alone, the producer’s accuracy was 90.8% and the user’s accuracy was 91.6%.

Keywords: Tajikistan Pamirs; remote sensing; Landsat; vegetation; pasture; GIS analysis; free Tajikistan GIS data

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For citation:
Salas, E.A.L.; Valdez, R.; Boykin, K.G. Geographic Layers as Landscape Drivers for the Marco Polo Argali Habitat in the Southeastern Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4, 2094-2108.

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