UPDATE: Darwin Savanna Map is now incorporated into the revised National Ecosystems Map of Belize

A revision of the National Ecosystems Map was published by BERDS in January 2012. This fully incorporates the digital data from the 2010 Savanna Map, resolving boundaries between savannas and adjacent land cover classes to create a seamless and comprehensive coverage of all Belize's ecosystems. The new map is downloadable from BERDS here.

The digital map data for savannas (the Darwin Savanna Map 2010) remains available (below) on this website as a resource to support the specific analysis of savanna areas. However, users may find the representation of this data within the National Ecosystems Map 2012 more suitable if other land cover classes also need to be considered.

The Darwin Savanna Map 2010

The SEA Belize Project has developed a new digital mapping of savanna areas from satellite imagery. This spatial data set provides a more up-to-date and detailed assessment of savanna areas as of 2010 and is designed to support management and conservation of the savanna ecosystem at a national level.

The Darwin Savanna map data can be used to:

  • Provide up-to-date mapping of the extent of remaining lowland-savanna areas in Belize
  • Provide the first detailed assessment of sub-types of lowland savanna at a national scale
  • Allow for the identification of lowland savanna areas under clear threat and aid in the recognition of priority areas for conservation.

Overview of the Savanna Map data

Ssavanna assemblages are mapped at two nested resolutions which we call Landscape and Patch level. At the landscape level the "lowland savanna" class is analogous to the "Lowland Savanna" ecosystem as defined in the Meerman & Sabido Belize Ecosystems Map (2004). Generic "Wetland" and "Forest" classes are also identified at the landscape level.

The patch-level classification is independant of any previous definition and splits the "lowland savanna" landscape classes into "open savanna", "dense tree savanna" and "seasonally Waterlogged savanna with shrubs and trees" together with patches of "forest" and "wetland" that are sub 100ha in size.

This dataset has been developed using high resolution imagery covering 2004-2009 provided by Planet Action (SPOT), the GeoEye Foundation (IKONOS) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency/JAXA (ALOS PALSAR).


Accessing the Savanna Map data

The map is provided in ArcGIS (shapefile) and Google Earth (KMZ) formats, and can be freely used and modified, provided that you acknowledge this Darwin Initiative project as the data source and that any derived products are made freely available in Belize.

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