Mission

The Gap Analysis Project (GAP) is an element of the U.S. Geological Survey. We help implement the Department of Interior’s goals of inventory, monitoring, research, and information transfer.

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    The Gap Analysis Project mission is to provide state, regional, and national biodiversity assessments of the conservation status of native vertebrate species, aquatic species, and natural land cover types and to facilitate the application of this information to land management activities. Species and habitat distribution models are used to conduct a biodiversity assessment for species across the U.S. The goal of GAP is to keep common species common by identifying species and plant communities that are not adequately represented in the existing conservation lands network. By providing these data, land managers and policy makers can make better-informed decisions when identifying priority areas for conservation.

    To implement the mission, GAP partners in the development of four core datasets: 1) A detailed map of the terrestrial ecosystems of the United States; 2) Maps of predicted habitat distributions for the terrestrial vertebrate species for the U.S.; 3) distribution models for aquatic species and 4) the Protected Areas Database of the U.S.  These datasets are used to document the representation of vertebrate species and land cover types in areas managed for the long-term maintenance of biodiversity, to assess the habitat condition of the nation’s streams and rivers, and to provide this information to the public and those entities charged with land use research, policy, planning, and management.  

    GAP is one of the core datasets of the USGS Science Analytics and Synthesis program . The national GAP office is based in Boise, Idaho. The National Project Coordinator is Kevin Gergely, based in Boise, Idaho. Connect with GAP staff and offices >> Learn more about GAP Partners >>