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Closed-canopy tropical moist forest once covered large parts of this landscape near the Niger River Delta. Since the 1940s, however, logging, farming, and large-scale plantations have caused major losses of natural forest. In the middle of this increasingly degraded landscape, a fragment of relatively undisturbed rain forest remains.

In this series of Landsat images, plantations of oil palm and rubber trees appear in blocks of light green and magenta. Okomu National Park in Nigeria was designated in 1999 to protect a small population of forest elephants and several species of threatened primates within the Okomu Forest Reserve. Despite the large-scale rubber and oil palm plantation expansion in the northern half of the forest reserve and farmland in the southern half, Okomu National Park remains largely protected within the reserve and its dark green hue stands out against these surroundings.

Imagery

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Dec. 11, 1984, Landsat 5 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria
Jan. 5, 1991, Landsat 4 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve, Nigeria
Dec. 13, 1999, Landsat 7 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria
Dec. 21, 2002, Landsat 7 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria
Jan. 15, 2015, Landsat 8 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria
Jan. 2, 2016, Landsat 8 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria
Jan. 4, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria
Jan. 4, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 190/56) — Okomu Forest Reserve and Okomu National Park, Nigeria

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References

Adisa, A., 2011, Okomu National Park, Edo State: CometoNigeria.com, accessed April 7, 2017, at http://www.cometonigeria.com/top-destinations/okomu-national-park/.

Ayanlade, A., 2016, Landuse change within Okomu and Gilli-Gilli Forest Reserves, southwestern Nigeria—its climatic and societal implications: Tropical Ecology, v. 57, no. 2, p. 193–203.

Ayanlade, A, and Drake, N., 2016, Forest loss in different ecological zones of the Niger Delta, Nigeria—evidence from remote sensing: GeoJournal, v. 81, no. 5, p. 717–735. doi:10.1007/s10708-015-9658-y.

CILSS, 2016, Landscapes of West Africa—A window on a changing world: Garretson, S. Dak., U.S. Geological Survey, EROS, 219 p., at https://eros.usgs.gov/westafrica/.

Nigeria National Parks, 2017, Okomu National Park: Nigeria National Parks, accessed April 7, 2017, at http://nigeriaparkservice.org/?p=152.

USGS, 2017, West Africa Atlas Details Efforts to Manage, Preserve Okomu Forest: USGS Image of the Week, accessed April 7, 2017, at https://eros.usgs.gov/image-of-the-week/west-africa-atlas-details-efforts-manage-preserve-okomu-forest.

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