Concept

Gap analysis (conservation)

Summary
Gap analysis is a tool used in wildlife conservation to identify gaps in conservation lands (e.g., protected areas and nature reserves) or other wildlands where significant plant and animal species and their habitat or important ecological features occur. Conservation managers or scientists can use it as a basis for providing recommendations to improve the representativeness of nature reserves or the effectiveness of protected areas so that these areas provide the best value for conserving biological diversity. With the information that a gap analysis yields, the boundaries of protected areas may be designed to subsume 'gaps' containing significant populations of wildlife species that can enhance the long-term survival of a larger metapopulation of the species already within the managed or protected area, or to include a diversity of wildlife species or ecosystems that merit protection but are inadequately represented in an existing protected area network. Gap assessments can be done
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