- ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in macaque habitat selection during a 29-year period. We focused on the 1970s, when little crop damage was caused by Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), and the 2000s, when the damage became remarkable. Landsat/MSS from 1978 and ALOS/AVNIR-2 from 2007 were employed for land-cover mapping. For the 2007 land-cover classification, we applied an object-oriented image classification and a classification and regression tree. The Kappa coefficient of the 2007 land-cover map was 0.89. For the 1978 land-cover classification, change detection using principal component analysis and object-oriented image classification were applied to reduce resolution difference errors. The Kappa coefficient of the 1978 land-cover map was 0.84. We applied a Random Forest model for machine learning and data mining to predict the habitat selection of macaques. Several important environmental factors were identified for macaque habitat selection: the ratio of coniferous forest to farmland, distance to farmland, and maximum snow depth. The Random Forest model was extrapolated to the 1978 land-cover map. Over the 29-year period, coniferous forest changed to broad-leaved forest and/or mixed forest within the macaque habitat area. Coniferous forests were not selected as food resources by Japanese macaques. Furthermore, large-scale patches of farmland were used as food resources over the 29-year period. These changes indicated that habitat selection by Japanese macaques changed over the study period. The results show that the home range of macaques expanded, and macaques may now be distributed over a wider area as a result of changes in landscape configuration. Thus, forest planning, such as sustainable management of artificial conifer forests, is important for reducing crop damage. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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