Using Spatial Models To Map Bird Distributions Along The Madison River

Scientific Disciplines
Biological Sciences - Terrestrial
madison river
University of Montana
Avian Science Center
species distribution
Volume 17, No. 1-4

Using spatial models to map bird distributions along the 
Madison river
Anna C. Noson,* Avian Science Center, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812, anna. 
M.A. Fylling, Avian Science Center, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812
R.L. Hutto. Avian Science Center, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812 
The Avian Science Center developed predictive maps of species distributions for the 
Madison River based on newly available riverine system data from the National Wetlands 
Inventory (NWI) and the Natural Heritage Program’s Landscape Integrity Model. We used a 
maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) to predict species distributions using species occurrence 

locations collected from 2003-2010. Models performed well for 13 species, demonstrating 
that available environmental data layers, including NWI, can be used to successfully predict 
species distributions along the Madison River for a number of important riparian bird 
species. These models allow fine-scale mapping of habitat suitability for riparian birds, 
which fills gaps in current data on species distributions, and can be used to prioritize riparian 
conservation and restoration projects.