A variety of models have been developed to map the distribution, occupancy, and abundance of species across space. In this talk, I will discuss a relatively new model which combines several aspects of these often disparate approaches. This Integrated Species Distribution Model (ISDM) allows for the dual use of opportunistically collected presence-only (PO) data and site-occupancy (SO) data from planned surveys. The ISDM also accounts for survey bias and imperfect detection through the use of a hierarchical modeling framework that separately estimates the species-environment response and the detection process. This is particularly helpful for conservation applications and predictions for rare species, where data are often limited and prediction errors may have significant management consequences. The talk will be broken down into five sections 1) a review of different modeling approaches and the development of ISDMs, 2) application of an ISDM to data on Baird’s tapir, with a comparison to Maxent, 3) a sensitivity analysis of ISDMs to identify potential pitfalls, 4) incorporation of ISDM in a range wide conservation planning exercise for Baird’s tapir, and 5) potential avenues for development and improvement of the methods discussed.
Cody Schank is currently at the Department of Geography and The Environment, University of Texas at Austin.