Mapping habitat for multiple species in the Desert Southwest.

Authors: R D Inman; K E Nussear; T C Esque; A G Vandergast; S A Hathaway; D A Wood; K R Barr; R N Fisher
Contribution Number: 644


Many utility scale renewable energy projects are currently proposed across the Mojave Ecoregion. Agencies that manage biological resources throughout this region need to understand the potential impacts of these renewable energy projects and their associated infrastructure (for example, transmission corridors, substations, access roads, etc.) on species movement, genetic exchange among
populations, and species’ abilities to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Understanding these
factors will help managers select appropriate project sites and possibly mitigate for anticipated effects of management activities. We used species distribution models to map habitat for 15 species across the Mojave Ecoregion to aid regional land-use management planning. Models were developed using a common 1 Ă— 1 kilometer resolution with maximum entropy and generalized additive models. Occurrence data were compiled from multiple sources, including VertNet (, HerpNET (, and MaNIS (, as well as from internal U.S. Geological Survey databases and other biologists. Background data included 20 environmental covariates representing terrain, vegetation, and climate covariates. This report summarizes these environmental covariates and species distribution models used to predict habitat for the 15 species across the Mojave Ecoregion.

Publication details
Published Date: 2014
Outlet/Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1134, pp. 92
Media Format: .PDF

ARMI Organizational Units:
Southwest, Southern California - Biology
Management; Quantitative Developments
Place Names:
Mojave Desert; Sonoran Desert
Decision science; wildlife habitat
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