Keeping Common Species Common

[Image: GAP Analysis Program]

About the GAP Analysis Program

GAP logo [Copyright: USGS GAP Analysis Program]
[Copyright: USGS GAP Analysis Program]

The GAP Analysis Program (GAP) is a component of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). The goal of the GAP Analysis Program is to keep common species common by identifying those species and plant communities that are not adequately represented in existing conservation lands. Common species are those not currently threatened with extinction. By identifying their habitats, GAP Analysis gives land managers and policy makers the information they need to make better-informed decisions when identifying priority areas for conservation. Visit the GAP Analysis Program page for more information about GAP.

What is a GAP analysis project?
"GAP analysis" refers to the process of combining a land stewardship dataset, a land cover dataset, and animal distribution models to identify and represent the protection of biodiversity elements at a specified project scale. GAP projects are cooperative efforts among regional, state, tribal and federal agencies, academic and non-governmental institutions, and other private groups as well as the divisions of the U.S. Geological Survey. Completed GAP projects and their products (such as reports and high quality datasets and maps) have many conservation and management applications.

GAP in the US
GAP data represents the synthesis of geospatial data from many different sources. The synthesized data can be divided into three main categories (land stewardship, land cover, and animal habitats), and is available in many different formats for a variety of users. Click here or scroll below to directly explore the new interactive map viewers for the US, including the GAP National Landcover Viewer, the Protected Areas Viewer, and the GAP Online Analysis Tool.

GAP in the Mountain Prairie Region
The Mountain Prairie region is home to two regional GAP projects, the Northwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (NWGAP), and the Missouri River Basin Aquatic GAP Project. Regional projects allow for a broad context for analyzing species distributions, which often span multiple state boundaries. Original state datasets for Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming are also available to the public.

NWGAP logo Northwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (NWGAP)
Find out more about the Northwest Regional GAP Analysis Project and available maps and data.
Missouri River Basin Aquatic GAP image Missouri River Basin Aquatic GAP Project
Click here to visit the Missouri River Basin Aquatic GAP Project website.

GAP Map Viewing Applications

Click on the tabs above to explore our map viewers.

Land cover viewer:

landcover viewer logoThe Gap Analysis Program (GAP) national land cover viewer displays data on the vegetation and land use patterns of the continental United States. It combines land cover data generated for the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis project completed in 2004, the Southeast Regional Gap Analysis Project completed in 2007, the Northwest Regional Gap project, and the updated California Gap project completed in 2009. For areas of the country without an Ecological System level Gap project, data created by the Landfire Project was used. All these projects use consistent base satellite imagery, the same classification systems and similar mapping methodology allowing for the creation of a seamless national land cover map.

Protected Areas of the United States viewer:

protected areas viewer logoThe Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is a national database of federal and state conservation lands. It contains the most current information about publicly held conservation lands (with conservation measures available) in the U.S. It was first published for delivery to the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center's (WCMC) World Database for Protected Areas (WDPA) in April 2009 by USGS GAP, on behalf of the PAD-US Partnership.

GAP Online Analysis Tool:

Gap online Analysis Tool logo This open-source mapping application allows users to explore and interact with GAP datasets by providing: the ability to selecte an area of interest; the ability to select a single or set of species; access to quantitative tools to summarize land cover, predicted habitat or protection status; and the ability to generate reports.

GAP Analysis Bulletins
Showing 5 of 17 ( Show All )
CollapseGap Analysis Bulletin No. 1
Description: The 1991 issue of the Gap Analysis Bulletin is the first of a series of annual bulletins produced by the National Gap Analysis Program. The newsletter defines the Gap Analysis Program and features some viewpoints as well as a methodology update. The newsletter also includes reports from Gap Analysis being conducted in 13 states.
Resource Type: Journal Articles
Resource Format: PDF
Publisher: United States Fish and Wildlife Service; Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; University of Idaho
ExpandGap Analysis Bulletin No. 10
ExpandGap Analysis Bulletin No. 10.
ExpandGAP Analysis Bulletin No. 11
ExpandGap Analysis Bulletin No. 11.

How is GAP Analysis Conducted?

"Gap Analysis" provides a scientific method for identifying the representation of native species in our present-day network of conservation lands. Four major steps are completed in the GAP Analysis process:

1. Land Cover Dataset: Map land cover of the dominant plant species.
SW Land Cover

2. Animal Habitat Models: Map predicted distributions of vertebrate species.
SW Blue Grouse distribution

3. Land Stewardship Dataset: Delineate land stewardship at one of four levels.
SW Land Stewardship

4. Identify the "gaps!": Analyze the representation of vertebrate species and vegetation alliances in conservation lands.
SW Blue Grouse Analysis
Images: Southwest Regional GAP Analysis Project

Visit the GAP Analysis Program website for more information about GAP Analysis.

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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