Title: Mapping rangeland degradation: A theoretical and practical exercise in the forest steppe zone, Mongolia

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Atli Gudjonsson
Rangeland degradation, Landsat, NDVI, Mongolia


Rangelands play an important role in providing a variety of ecological services, such as biodiversity preservation, carbon storage, animal forage, and social and cultural value. Rangeland systems are vulnerable and changes can have direct and indirect effects on the environment and the population. However, worldwide, rangelands have been degrading. Effective ways to solve problems related to rangeland management and monitoring include assessing rangelands by using remote sensing. Remote sensing is one methods for evaluating rangeland degradation in an efficient and accurate manner because it can give spatial and temporal information on rangeland management and monitoring on a large scale. The overall goal of this study was to assess the practical usage of remote sensing to identify rangeland degradation in Khongor soum of Darkhan-Uul province, Mongolia. The study attempted to detect rangeland degradation based on NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) value. Four classes were identified and mapped, including high-degraded, moderate, low, and non-degraded areas. According to the results, the low degraded class occupied the largest area. The practical aspect of this research was designed to function as a pilot study to gather experience and develop a clearer understanding of the aspects involved in remote sensing of rangeland areas. This may help in future projects to realise the potential and limitations that remote sensing has in this field.

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