Solutions for Nature Resource Managements-Conservation Area for Land Crabs

Scenario

Nowadays, the relationship between human and environment becomes intense. As human’s population is growing, natural resources are running out in our environment. Thus, more and more countries and international non-governmental organizations greatly promote sustainable developments.

In the south part of Taiwan, a village named Houlong in which the villagers live on the fishing industries. However, local young people migrate to other counties to look for better jobs. To attract more young people back to hometown, government decided to build National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Houlong. Years later, the museum becomes a famous scenic site, bringing many job opportunities and financial benefits for local people. One consortium intends to build a hotel next to the museum so that hotel guest can view the best ocean scene and visit museum with ease. However, the land which is planned to be built as hotel is the precious habitat for land crabs. According to the ecologists’ finding, the target land is biologically rich and the best place for land crabs. The surveying result implies that almost 30 kinds of land crabs inhabit in this place.
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▲ The area that consortium intended to build a hotel
next to National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium
Challenges

The dilemma is that local people greatly support this development project, even they know the hotel area is also land crabs’ habitat. So, how to balance villagers’ diverse needs as well as to protect the environment at the same time became a hard issue for authorities.

Goals

Try to seek the most densely area for land crabs, and then set up the protected area to maintain the habitat.

Solutions

1. Estimating Land Crabs Distribution by Kriging Analysis within SuperGIS Desktop:
Shown on SuperGIS Desktop, the interior area enclosed by blue boundary is the land planned to be built as the hotel. The hotel area is composed of three parts: the right part which is designed to be the hotel, the middle part that will be the parking lots, and the left part to be the staff building. Before the construction plan was defined, some ecologists did surveys about this area, and applied the cross mark as point symbols of the sampling locations. Each point symbol includes information of the types and sketchy density of land crabs.

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▲ Cross marks distributed in the area convey
information of the types and sketchy density of land crabs.

To estimate the precise density of land crabs distributed in each part in the area, a surveyor team utilized the Kriging analysis within SuperGIS Desktop to analyze the collected data. While the result shown up, the surveyor team found that the land crabs inhabit most densely in the part planned to be built as the parking lot.

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▲ Kriging Analysis Result of The Area to 
see the density distribution of land crabs

2. Establishing Protected Areas through Spatial Statistical Analyst and Providing Alternative Locations via GIS:
Since the construction plan will surely make an impact on ecology in Houlong, the environmental protection association tried to persuade the authorities and developers to consider the alternative solution-modifying the parking lot land using to a conservation area-by providing three other areas as thinkable alternative locations for parking lot via GIS.

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▲Transforming parking lot into conservation land, and providing three other 
areas as thinkable alternative locations to be constructed as the parking lot.
Results

After a long debate, the authorities and developers agree with the alternative solution. Moreover, the authorities will regularly investigate the number of land crabs; once the quantity reduces to less than half of the amount of the land crabs, the construction plan will be interrupted. The case is still on-going; and now the environmental protection associations are trying to seek better solutions by using network analyst within SuperGIS Desktop

Benefits

By overlaying collected data and result layers on SuperGIS Desktop, the authorities can not only view the construction plan provided by the developer on map, but also evaluate the risk of damaging local ecology because of the construction plan. The coolest of all, the density distribution of land crabs that is analyzed by the Kriging analysis and displayed on SuperGIS Desktop also provides efficient evaluation information for ecologists, environment protection association, the authorities and even the residents in Houlong to comprehend the area and the ecology that the construction plan might make impact on. In this way, all the related parties can do more efforts to give considerations to the biology conservation and the economic developments.

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