USGS GAP Partnership Develops Protected Areas Database

USGSp26p2“Protected areas are an essential tool in the international effort to conserve biodiversity. These lands protect vital ecosystems and species; however, because they are owned and managed by a wide variety of federal, state, and local agencies; nonprofit organizations; and even private individuals, developing a clear picture of how much is actually being saved has been a problem. Similarly, although several conservation organizations have been collecting information about protected lands, there has been little agreement among these organizations about how to classify them. Yet without comprehensive data about the location, size, and management of lands set aside for biodiversity protection, it is difficult to establish and monitor regional and national conservation strategies.”