This study examined the land use and land cover changes in Bacha forest reserve Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The specific objective of the study was to classify land use and land cover patterns of the study area for the years of 1979, 1999, 2019 using land satellite imageries. Data of land use and land cover changes for the study area for the period of study were obtained from the satellite. Landsat (TM 1979), Landsat-5 Thematic Map (1999) and Landsat-8 Operation Land Imager/Thermal Infrared Sensor (2019) were down loaded from the United State Geological Survey website. Idrisi Selva was used to perform a supervised maximum likelihood classification of the imagery. The result revealed that 4.51% (2.39ha) of total area was currently used for building of structures, 10.70% (5.67ha) of the land cover is used for farming, forest plantation covers 79.97% (42.34/ha) of the land, bare surface was 1.35% (0.72/ha) and water body was 3.47% (1.84/ha) in 1979. The result of 1999 revealed that 11.96 % (6.34ha) of total area was currently used for built area and structures, 23.27 % (12.33 ha) of the land cover is used for farming, forest plantation covers 61.78 % (32.74/ha) of the land, bare surface was 0.88% (0.88/ha) and water body was 2.11% (1.12 ha) in 1999. While in 2019, the result also revealed that 21.83% (11.57ha) of total area was currently used for built area and structures, 16.34% (30.83ha) of the land cover is used for farming, forest plantation covers .39.96% (21.18 ha) of the land, bare surface was 5.47% (2.90ha) and water body 1.91% (1.01ha) in 2019. The magnitude of LULC change within 40 years period showed that 21.21 ha of the forest area and 0.83ha of water body were lost to other forms of land uses, Built up areas increased by 9.18 ha within that period, farm land/shrubs increased by 10.67ha and bare surface also increased by 2.18ha within the same period. In order to reduce the serious deforestation taking place in Bacha forest reserve the study recommends that the Kaduna forest management as a matter of important should reclaim and replant every cleared surface within the forest and security measures must be put in place to serves as control measure against deforestation in the reserve.
Key Words: Land use, Land cover, Change, Forest reserve, Magnitude
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