Research to advance conservation science through application of USGS GAP data
June 2012 - December 2015
- US Geological Survey
Over the past 4 years, the USGS Gap Analysis Program (GAP) has been strategically focusing on producing and applying national data for advancing conservation science including land cover data, species ranges and distribution models as well as protected areas data. With the support of partners, such as the University of Idaho, GAP has achieved its goal of building consistent national datasets and making them available to view and download via the web. In addition, GAP and its partners have been involved with cooperative projects to apply GAP data to conservation science within the US. For example, through GAP’s partners at the University of Idaho, GAP’s land cover, protected areas data, and Alaska bird ranges were applied to the State of the Birds Report 2011, which reported on the use of public lands and waters by birds through the U.S. This report has been widely distributed within the U.S. Congress and personnel in federal agencies. GAP has experienced a renewed interest in its data and we propose to continue to apply GAP data to advance conservation science. We propose to continue the effort to complete species ranges and distribution models for the U.S., as well as update and refine the land cover data. We also propose to assess the status of biodiversity within the US with regards to its current and future representation within in our protected areas network and to examine the type and level of threats that exist for conserving biodiversity. Overall our goal is to show how conservation science can be advanced through the application of GAP data.