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What is GAP?

Published Jun 26, 2010

GAP refers to the Gap Analysis Program, a US Geological Survey program whose mission is to “keep common species common”, focusing on species not threatened with extinction.  The goal of Gap Analysis is to keep common species common by identifying those species and plant communities that are not adequately represented on existing conservation lands. By identifying their habitats, Gap Analysis gives land managers, planners, scientists, and policy makers the information they need to make better-informed decisions when identifying priority areas for conservation

Gap Analysis came out of the realization that a species-by-species approach to conservation is not effective because it does not address the continual loss and fragmentation of natural landscapes. Only by protecting regions already rich in habitat can we adequately protect the animal species that inhabit them.