In this webinar, Nathan will provide an update on the current and future direction of the GAP program. In addition to providing a database of protected areas and high resolution land cover data, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Gap Analysis Project (GAP) recently released range and habitat distribution data for 1,590 terrestrial vertebrate species within the lower 48 states. Whereas the primary mission of GAP is to assess how well species are protected, the data have additional utility for broad-scale conservation assessments and planning exercises, as well as for the development of new methods for landscape assessment and characterization.
Efforts are underway to harness recent species occurrence data for updates to GAP range data. Recent applications of GAP habitat maps have included a study that explored the potential impacts of demand for wood pellets on wildlife in the Southeast and another that identified which wildlife species could have the greatest exposure to degradation of southeastern woody wetlands. The data have also provided opportunities to explore scale-sensitivities in gap analyses and develop ways to incorporate measures of spatial patterns in habitat for multiple species into conservation plans.
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