Gap analysis (conservation)
At its simplest, a gap analysis is an assessment of the extent to which a protected area system meets protection goals set by a nation or region to represent its biological diversity. Gap analyses can vary from simple exercises based on a spatial comparison of biodiversity with existing protected areas to complex studies that need detailed data gathering and analysis, mapping and use of software decision packages. All gap analyses should consider a range of different “gaps” in a protected area network:
Representation gaps: either no representations of a particular species or ecosystem in any protected area, or not enough examples of the species or ecosystem represented to ensure long-term protection.
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