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Type: Journal article
Title: Mapping orangutan habitat and agricultural areas using Landsat OLI imagery augmented with unmanned aircraft system aerial photography
Author: Szantoi, Z.
Smith, S.
Strona, G.
Koh, L.
Wich, S.
Citation: International Journal of Remote Sensing, 2017; 38(8-10):2231-2245
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0143-1161
Statement of
Zoltan Szantoi, Scot E. Smith, Giovanni Strona, Lian Pin Koh and Serge A. Wich
Abstract: Conservation of the Sumatran orangutans’ (Pongo abelii) habitat is threatened by change in land use/land cover (LULCC), due to the logging of its native primary forest habitat, and the primary forest conversion to oil palm, rubber tree, and coffee plantations. Frequent LULCC monitoring is vital to rapid conservation interventions. Due to the costs of high-resolution satellite imagery, researchers are forced to rely on cost-free sources (e.g. Landsat), those, however, provide images at a moderate-to-low resolution (e.g. 15–250 m), permitting identification only general LULC classes, and limit the detection of small-scale deforestation or degradation. Here, we combine Landsat imagery with very high-resolution imagery obtained from an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). ​The UAS imagery was used as ‘drone truthing’ data to train image classification algorithms. Our results show that UAS data can successfully be used to help discriminate similar land-cover/use classes (oil palm plantation vs. reforestation vs. logged forest) with consistently high identification of over 75% on the generated thematic map, where the oil palm detection rate was as high as 89%. Because UAS is employed increasingly in conservation proWjects, this approach can be used in a large variety of them to improve land-cover classification or aid-specific mapping needs.
Description: Published online: 23 Jan 2017
Rights: © 2017 European Union Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
RMID: 0030067114
DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2017.1280638
Appears in Collections:Environment Institute publications

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