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Gap Analysis No. 16

Gap Analysis—A Geographic Approach to Planning for Biological Diversity

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (10.4 MB)The Gap Analysis Program ... in Brief

The Mission of the Gap Analysis Program (GAP) is to promote conservation by providing broad geographic information on biological diversity to resource managers, planners, and policy makers who can use the information to make informed decisions.

As part of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) —a collaborative program to provide increased access to data and information on the nation’s biological resources--GAP data and analytical tools have been used in hundreds of applications: from basic research to comprehensive state wildlife plans; from educational projects in schools to ecoregional assessments of biodiversity.

The challenge: keeping common species common means protecting them BEFORE they become threatened. To do this on a state or regional basis requires key information such as land cover descriptions, predicted distribution maps for native animals, and an assessment of the level of protection currently given to those plants and animals.

GAP works cooperatively with Federal, state, and local natural resource professionals and academics to provide this kind of information. GAP activities focus on the creation of state and regional databases and maps that depict patterns of land management, land cover, and biodiversity. These data can be used to identify “gaps” in conservation--instances where an animal or plant community is not adequately represented on the existing network of conservation lands.

GAP is administered through the U.S. Geological Survey. Through building partnerships among disparate groups, GAP hopes to foster the kind of collaboration that is needed to address conservation issues on a broad scale.

For additional information contact:

John Mosesso
National GAP Director

Kevin Gergely
National GAP Operations Manager

GAP Analysis Program

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Maxwell, Jill, Gergely, Kevin, Aycrigg, Jocelyn, and Davidson, Anne, eds., 2009, Gap Analysis--A geographic approach to planning for biological diversity: U.S. Geological Survey Gap Analysis Program Bulletin No. 16, 104 p.


Improving the Characterization and Mapping of Wildlife Habitats with Lidar Data: Measurement Priorities for the Inland Northwest, USA
     Sebastián Martinuzzi, Lee A. Vierling, William A. Gould, and Kerri T. Vierling
Multiple Scale Integrated Range Maps for Modeling Predicted Distributions of Vertebrate Species in the U.S. Virgin Islands
     William A. Gould and Mariano Solórzano
A Pilot Project to Visualize Kentucky’s Modeled Vertebrate Habitat Change
     Brian D. Lee, Collin D. Linebach

Applications of SWReGAP Data to Conservation
     Kenneth G. Boykin , William Kepner, and David Bradford
Using GAP Data in Invasive Plant Ecology and Management
     Gary N. Ervin
Providing Digital Access to Ancillary GAP Data
     Julie Prior-Magee

Applications of a Broad-Spectrum Tool for Conservation and Fisheries Analysis: Aquatic Gap Analysis
     James E. McKenna, Jr., Paul J. Steen, John Lyons, and Jana Stewart
Using Aquatic GAP Models to Inform Conservation Decisions: A Framework
     Elise R. Irwin, Kathryn D. Kennedy, James T. Peterson, Mary C. Freeman, Byron J. Freeman, and Gareth T. Turner

Methodological Approach to Identify Mexico’s Terrestrial Priority Sites for Conservation
     Tania Urquiza-Haas, Melanie Kolb, Patricia Koleff, Andrés Lira-Noriega, and Jesús

Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project
     William A. Gould
Minnesota Gap Analysis Project
     Compiled from Final Project Report
Ohio Gap Analysis Project
     Compiled from Final Project Report
Vermont and New Hampshire Gap Analysis Project
     Compiled from Final Project Report
Illinois Gap Analysis Project
     Compiled from Final Project Report
Indiana Gap Analysis Project
     Compiled from Final Project Report

Northwest Gap Analysis Project

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