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Shewit Gebre Medhin
Tesfaye Melak
Lewoye Tsegaye
Ferehiwot Mequanint


Landsat satellite images of the years 1973, 1986, 2002 and 2013 were used to identify and quantify land use classes of Kurt Bahir wetland. Additional observations on the ground were conducted in 2013/14. The main objective of the study was investigating the effect of land use change on ecosystem services of Kurt Bahir Wetland. Questionnaires were distributed; key informants interviewed and focus group discussions conducted to explore the land use changes of the wetland. In 1973 the land use classes of the wetlands were wetland and grazing land with an area of 764.5 and 268.4 ha, respectively. The land use classes in 1986 were wetland, grazing land and agriculture land with an area coverage of 585.7, 198.3 and 248.9ha, respectively. Moreover, the land use of the study area in 2002 was similar to that of 1986. In 2013/14, however, we observed a substantial increase in agriculture and grazing lands at the cost of the wetlands as compared to 2002. Respondents confirmed that free grazing, lack of awareness and over harvesting of vegetations had severe effect on size reduction of Kurt Bahir wetland. Therefore, on basis of the land use change information which is now available, the responsible governmental organizations should take action by developing and implementing management plans for sustainable utilization of this resource.

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