GAP Analysis in the Tropical Andes

Highlights:
  • Identifications of gaps between protected areas (IUCN categories: I, II and III) of Bolivia,Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela and biodiversity (amphibians, birds and mammals) richness areas.
Project Description

GIS Objectives:

  • Create a spatial database of protected areas (IUCN categories: I, II and III) of Bolivia,Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, including basic cartographic data.
  • Create a spatial database on the distribution of biodiversity (amphibians, birds and mammals) in the five countries, mainly from public and free web data.
  • Overlay information on protected areas concerning biodiversity to identify gaps.
Procedures:

Spatial Database creation:

  • Cartographic data: The USGS Global Geographic Information System (GIS) database (http://webgis.wr.usgs.gov/globalgis/) was used as the reference data (political boundaries, cities, roads and hydrography). A DEM for the five countries was downloaded from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) web page.
  • Protected areas: Digital data of Bolivia,Colombia, Ecuador Perú was provided by Conservation International (http://www.conservation.org). Venezuela data was taken from the Digital Mapping of Natural Protected Areas of Venezuela project.
  • Biodiversity distribution: Data from NatureServe – InfoNatura (http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura/) was used.

Preprocessing:

  • All data was projected to Lambert Equal Area.
  • To identify patterns of species richness a hexagon grid with a cell size of 100 km2 was created.

Analysis:

  • Specie richness: Overlay of the hexagon grid and the distribution of species layer allowed to quantify the number of species per cell and thus identify the pattern of richness for each group (amphibians, birds and mammals). Similarly, using the conservation status category and the distribution within or outside the tropical Andes region (endemic), richness maps of regional and national threatened and endemic species were generated for each group.
  • Conservation Status: Overlay of the distribution of species and the protected area layers allowed to quantify areas and percentage of distribution that are in or outside protected areas of the tropical Andes by specie and by group.
  • Species that complied with the following conditions: i) 5% or less of their area protected, ii) species completely absent from the protected areas of the Tropical Andes, were identified. With this information, maps of species richness which distribution has little or no protection were produced.
  • Species with inadequately protected were identified. For species with limited distribution (250.000 km2) the objective of protection is 10% of its distribution. For intermediate species distributions, interpolations between these two values were calculated.
Results:
Conclusions:
  • This project assessed the geographic distribution of 4918 species of amphibians, birds and mammals, of which 45.1% are endemic to the tropical Andes and 15.9% are in some category of threat of extinction (IUCN 2004).
  • The largest group was that of birds (57%), followed by amphibians (28%) and mammals (15%).
  • The group with the highest number of endemic species (1070 species) and threatened species (475 species) is that of amphibians.
  • The group with the highest proportion of species absent from protected areas is that of amphibians (8.7% of species), the equivalent figures for birds and mammals are 2.8% and 1.1% respectively.
  • The number of species of amphibians, birds and mammals combined completely absent from the protected areas of the tropical Andes is relatively low (13.2%).
  • In contrast, the number of amphibian species absent from protected areas reached 31.6% of the total, the equivalent figures for birds and mammals are 10.2% and 4.0% respectively.
  • The number of species of amphibians, birds and mammals combined insufficiently protected in protected areas of the tropical Andes is high (71.1%).
  • The main areas of concentration of amphibian species absent from protected areas (gaps) are in the central portion of the Cordilleras of Colombia and northern Peru.
  • The main areas of concentration of bird species absent from protected areas (gaps) are found along the coast of Peru and to a lesser degree north of the country.
  • The main areas of concentration of species of mammals absent from protected areas (gaps) are found along the coast and in northern Peru and southern Bolivia.
Congress Presentations:
  • Rodríguez, Jon Paul, Oliveira-Miranda, M.A., Lazo, R., Zambrano, S, Tapiquen E. Are Vertebrates in the Tropical Andes Well Protected?. Society for Conservation Biology 20th Annual Meeting, June 2006, San Jose, USA.
  • Zambrano, S., Armas, M., Oliveira-Miranda, M. A., Lazo, R., Rodríguez, J. P. Análisis de Vacíos en la Protección de las Aves en las Áreas Protegidas Estrictas de Venezuela. II Jornadas de Ornitología y Conservación de Aves de Venezuela, November 2005, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
  • Oliveira-Miranda, M.A., Rodríguez, J.P., Lazo, R., Zambrano, S., Tapiquén, E., Ruiz, A., Gutiérrez E.E., Armas, M., Solórzano, L.A. y Rojas-Suárez, F. 2005. Are the highest species richness areas of birds and mammals under a protected status in Venezuela?. 19th Annual Meeting of the Society of Conservation Biology, July 2005, Brasilia, Brazil.
  • Rodríguez, J.P., Lazo, R, Zambrano, S., Tapiquén, E., Ruiz, A., Gutiérrez E.E., Armas, M., Solórzano, L.A. y Rojas-Suárez, F. Endangered and Endemic Birds and Mammals in Strict Protected Areas in Colombia and Venezuela: Are They Well Protected? 19th Annual Meeting of the Society of Conservation Biology, July 2005, Brasilia, Brazil.

Project employer:
Employer: ecoSIG – IVIC (Venezuelan Scientific Research Institute)
Responsibility: GIS Consultant
GIS work team: Rodrigo Lazo, María Oliveira and Sergio Zambrano
Status: Finished 2005