India Under Construction is an online, interactive data portal that provides information on infrastructure, protected areas and forest fragmentation across India, and landscape permeability to movement for large mammals, in Central India and Western Ghats. The objective of this portal is to provide options to meet the needs for infrastructure development while maintaining landscape connectivity and permeability to movement.
The portal makes use of open source data and those published by Government agencies in India.
The portal evaluates landscape permeability to movement for four species in Central India: sloth bear, sambar, leopard, gaur and five species in the Western Ghats: sloth bear, sambar, leopard, gaur and elephant. By comparing simulated movement in the presence and absence of land-use land-cover, infrastructure and human population, the portal delineates areas where movement is impeded due to underlying high resistance landscape features (values below 0), unrestricted as a result of relatively low resistance landscape features (values equal to 0) and channelled into bottlenecks due to surrounding high resistance landscape features (values greater than 0)1.
The portal quantifies forest fragmentation due to linear infrastructure by studying forest structural connectivity, which is defined as the spatial arrangement of forested habitats in a landscape. To quantify structural connectivity, the portal uses forest patch characteristics in terms of three patch indices: patch size, amount of perforation and inter-patch distance. Based on these three indices it then characterises forest patches into three fragmentation categories (FC) that provide information on large intact patches that need to be preserved in the future.2
How to use the portal
1 Anisha Jayadevan, Rajat Nayak, Krithi K. Karanth, Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Ruth DeFries, K. Ullas Karanth & Srinivas Vaidyanathan (2020). Navigating Paved Paradise: Evaluating landscape permeability to movement for large mammals in two conservation priority landscapes in India. Biological Conservation, 108613
2 Rajat Nayak, Krithi K. Karanth, Trishna Dutta, Ruth Defries, K. Ullas Karanth, & Srinivas Vaidyanathan (2020). Bits and pieces: Forest fragmentation by linear intrusions in India. Land Use Policy, 104619.
India Under Construction was produced under the aegis of the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) project titled, ‘Landscape Connectivity in India’.