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For Wildlife Action Plans

In 2005, each state and U.S. territory completed a plan to evaluate its wildlife conservation needs and outline its conservation priorities. These State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) contain information on Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), critical habitat, threats to wildlife species and habitats, research needs, necessary actions, and conservation strategies. Together they provide a blueprint for national conservation efforts. These plans were mandated by the Federal government, and they must be updated by 2015.

Use of GAP in revised State Wildlife Action Plans

States are currently working on the revisions of their plans. To date GAP data have been used in at least two of  the revised plans.

Nevada: The draft updated version of the Nevada Wildlife Action plan uses Southwest Regional Gap Analysis (SWReGAP) data as one of four sources that were used to develop new ecological systems called “Biophysical Settings” for planning in the state. SWReGAP data were also used to perform a habitat capability inventory which helped identify SGCN species.

Wyoming:  Wyoming’s 2012 State Wildlife Action Plan used ecological systems from the Northwest Gap Project (NWGAP) to develop conservation features that were used to identify areas of the state important for SGCN species. These conservation features included terrestrial SGCN and eleven habitat types. The location of SGCN across the state was based on the distribution models developed by WYNDD. The location of the eleven habitats was based on the NWGAP dataset for the state of Wyoming.

Use of GAP in original (2005) State Wildlife Action Plans

In the first round of State Wildlife Action Plan development, GAP land cover, species, and habitat distribution models were important data sets. A survey of SWAP coordinators showed that twenty-two states relied heavily on GAP land cover data. While vegetation classifications were used by 33 percent of respondents, and predicted vertebrate distribution maps were used by 25 percent of respondents. Aquatic, stewardship, ownership and species richness data, species lists, and habitat descriptions were also important.

The top priority identified in the SWAPs was a need for more research on species. With its new regional and national data, GAP will continue to provide vital information for state wildlife action plans.