Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The National Gap Analysis Program (GAP) is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Biological Resources Discipline. The goal of GAP is to prevent conservation crises by providing national assessments of animals and their habitats and to facilitate the application of this information to land management activities. Gap analysis is a method for identifying the degree to which native animal species and natural plant communities are represented in our present-day mix of conservation lands. Those species and communities not adequately represented in the existing network of conservation lands constitute conservation "gaps."
The conservation of biodiversity is a huge challenge both scientifically and socially. Gap analysis originated from the realization that waiting until species are threatened or endangered to protect them is neither an effective nor efficient means of biodiversity conservation. Such an approach ignores the principal reason for the loss of biodiversity, i.e., the continual loss and fragmentation of natural landscapes and disruption of natural ecological processes. A strategy for conservation of biodiversity requires decisions of what is to be sustained, at what level, for how long, by whom, and for whom. The geospatial datasets created by GAP provide an excellent starting point for land managers, planners, scientists, and policy makers to develop proactive habitat-based conservation plans that might preclude the need to list species as endangered or threatened. Before biodiversity conservation strategies can succeed, clear quantifiable objectives must be defined and evaluation methods developed.
The mission of GAP is to provide national assessments of the conservation status of native vertebrate species and natural land cover types and to facilitate the application of this information to land management activities. This is accomplished through the following five objectives:
GAP is conducted as state-level projects. The North Dakota Gap Analysis Project (ND-GAP) is a cooperative effort led by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in cooperation with more than 30 federal, state, Native American, and private conservation organizations in North Dakota.
Three versions of the ND-GAP Final Report are available for viewing or download: the complete Final Report, the Final Report without appendices, and appendices only. These files are offered in PDF format and require a PDF reader (download free reader).
Clicking the links below will launch the files for viewing within a web browser or PDF reader. To download and save the selected file using Windows: Right-click, and select "Save Target As…" or "Save Link As…". For Mac: Control-click, and select "Save Link As…".
The final report and databases created by the ND-GAP are available on CD. The geospatial data created by the ND-GAP may be successfully used with ESRI ArcGIS 8.x or other geographic information system software that can import ESRI file formats. The land cover and vertebrate species predicted habitats are in ArcGIS GRID format. All other GIS data are in ArcGIS vector format. See the readme file below for more information about computer and software requirements for working with the ND-GAP geospatial data.
Please submit a written request via email with the subject line: "ND-GAP CD Request" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, mail a request to:
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
c/o Larry Strong, NDGAP
8711 37th Street SE,
Jamestown, ND 58401
(Please include your affilitation and intended use of the data with your request.)
This resource should be cited as:
Strong, Laurence L., H. Thomas Sklebar, and Kevin E. Kermes. 2005. North Dakota GAP analysis project. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/projects/ndgap/ (Version 12JUN2006).