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Open-File Report 2014-1134

Mapping Habitat for Multiple Species in the Desert Southwest

By Richard D. Inman, Kenneth E. Nussear, Todd C. Esque, Amy G. Vandergast, Stacie A. Hathaway, Dustin A. Wood, Kelly R. Barr, and Robert N. Fisher


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 × 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.

First posted July 14, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Western Ecological Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey
3020 State University Drive East
Sacramento, California 95819

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Suggested citation:

Inman, R.D., Nussear, K.E., Esque, T.C., Vandergast, A.G., Hathaway, S.A., Wood, D.A., Barr, K.R., and Fisher, R.N, 2014, Mapping habitat for multiple species in the Desert Southwest: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1134, 92 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)




Habitat Suitability Modeling



References Cited

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