The United States Geological Survey uses a method called Gap Analysis to help preserve endangered species and threatented habitats.
GAP is the acronym used to refer to the Gap Analysis Program of USGS. It could also refer to the fact that GAP is a geographic approach to planning.
Gap Analysis is a proactive approach to protecting biodiversity. It seeks to identify gaps between land areas that are rich in biodiversity and areas that are managed for conservation.
Three Steps to Gap Analysis
The first step of gap analysis is to map vegetation to the alliance level. Alliances are natural assemblages of plant species. They are used because the patterns of natural terrestrial landcover are a reflection of the physical and chemical factors that shape the environment of a given land area.
Step two is to map the predicted distributions of all terrestrial vertebra.
The third step of a gap analysis is to delineate land stewardship at one of four levels.
This system is useful to the thesis topic in two ways.
First it can show where species on the endangered list are "predicted" to be. GAP isn't set up to do yet, but if a database of endangered species were cross referenced with a GAP database, a layer of endangered species could be produced.
Secondly, the delineation of land stewardship will show where project development could not occur for Carbon Capture and Storage.
The USGS Handbook for Conducting GAP Analysis has a chapter on Mapping and Categorizing Land Stewardship
Using the above criteria, the four biodiversity management status categories can generally be defined as follows (after Scott et al. 1993, Edwards et al. 1994, Crist et al. 1996):
Status 1: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a natural state within which disturbance events (of natural type, frequency, intensity, and legacy) are allowed to proceed without interference or are mimicked through management.
Status 2: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a primarily natural state, but which may receive uses or management practices that degrade the quality of existing natural communities, including suppression of natural disturbance.
Status 3: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover for the majority of the area, but subject to extractive uses of either a broad, low-intensity type (e.g., logging) or localized intense type (e.g., mining). It also confers protection to federally listed endangered and threatened species throughout the area.
Status 4: There are no known public or private institutional mandates or legally recognized easements or deed restrictions held by the managing entity to prevent conversion of natural habitat types to anthropogenic habitat types. The area generally allows conversion to unnatural land cover throughout.