Audubon Climate-Based Bird Distribution Models for North America

The raster datasets on this page have been developed by the National Audubon Society. They include projected 1-km resolution suitability surfaces and other derived rasters from species distribution models for 604 North American bird species. These projections were used in Audubon’s Report ‘Survival By Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink’ (available at http://climate.audubon.org). Projections are available for the current distribution and for two future climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) for the 2025s, 2055s, and 2085s.  

Figure 1

Figure 1. Outputs from models are as shown for the classified change product for current [2010] (left) and future RCP 8.5 2080s [+3.0°C scenario] (right) projected distribution maps for Wood Thrush. Classified values are defined as follows: never suitable (gray), extirpation (red), worsening (orange), neutral (yellow), improving (green), and colonization (blue). Credit: Stamen Design. 

Please cite the data as: 

Wilsey, C, B Bateman, L Taylor, JX Wu, G LeBaron, R Shepherd, C Koseff, S Friedman, R Stone. Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink. National Audubon Society: New York.


Derived Products

Gain/Loss/Stable/Net Change 

Summarized data for each season and scenario (+1.5°C and +3.0°) by habitat group and across all species. Each file represents the tallies of overlapping species with projected range for gain, loss, or stable (based on species individual suitability thresholds). Data are also included for net change (gain or loss) per grid cell across North America. For more information see methods in our preprint of ‘North American Birds Require Mitigation and Adaptation to Reduce Vulnerability to Climate Change’ located here.

Richness 

Summarized data for bird richness and climate vulnerable species bird richness across North America or for the lower 48 states only (conus) for each season and scenario (+1.5°C and +3.0°). For more information see methods in our preprint of ‘Risk to North American Birds from Climate Change-Related Threats’ located here. 

Risk 

Risk is calculated as the product of hazard (coincident climate change related threats), exposure (bird richness), and vulnerability (vulnerable bird richness) and then rescaled using min-max normalization. For each season, percent change between scenarios was calculated as the difference between risk under 3.0°C and 1.5°C divided by risk under 1.5°C. 

Grassland Prioritization

The suitability projections described above for 39 grassland birds were used to prioritize areas for conservation under global change. The Central Grasslands Prioritization rasters are at 1-km resolution and encompass the Great Plains of the US and Canada, and the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico. Four grassland bird prioritization products are provided: 1) incorporating threats from climate change, 2) incorporating threats from climate + land use change, 3) a vulnerability raster, and 4) a consensus priorities raster that incorporates previous prioritization efforts. Detailed methods can be found in the reports below.

Figure 1

Figure 2. Landscape ranks based on: (a) present and future climate suitability for 39 grassland bird species (Scenario 1—Grassland Climate Strongholds; shown in blue-green); and (b) present and future climate and land-use suitability for 39 grassland bird species (Scenario 2—Grassland Climate and Land-use Strongholds; shown in blue-green); and (c) vulnerability, defined as the delta between the present and future climate scenario (Scenario 1, Figure 1a) and the present and future climate and land-use scenario (Scenario 2, Figure 1b); high value = high vulnerability to land-use conversion (shown in red-orange).

Please cite the central grasslands prioritization data as:

Grand J., C. Wilsey, J.X. Wu, N.L. Michel. The future of North American grassland birds: Incorporating persistent and emergent threats into full annual cycle conservation priorities. Conservation Science and Practice. 2019; 1(4), e20. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.20.

Data description


All archives on this page have been compressed with the 7-zip utilty. To extract the data, use the 7-zip software, which is freely available for Windows (link) as well as Mac and Linux systems (link). Use of 7-zip in place of the standard zip format allows better compression, lower storage costs, and shorter download times. 

You will need to enter a password to decompress the archives. Please fill out the data request form here to obtain the archive password. Warning: Many of the files below are quite large (as indicated by the size listed after each file link), so consider this issue before downloading especially if you are on a slow network connection.

Files are organized first by scenario (current distribution or future RCP), then broken into habitat groups, and finally individual species. Where relevant, projections include both the breeding and non-breeding distribution. For each species and associated season, time period, and scenario, there is a suitability raster (i.e. continuous variable) and categorical files of classified change in suitability as presented on http://climate.audubon.org. All data are provided as GeoTIFF files in Albers Equal Area projection, at a 1km resolution, and covering North America. Please see metadata document for more detailed information. 
Projection of the data is Albers Equal Area, with the following parameters in CRS format as used in R and other programs:
+proj=aea +lat_1=20 +lat_2=60 +lat_0=40 +lon_0=-96 +x_0=0 +y_0=0 +ellps=GRS80 +towgs84=0,0,0,0,0,0,0 +units=m +no_defs

List of Data Archives

[NOTE 12/31/2019: We initially provided the suitability rasters in floating point format but have now reformatted them as integer rasters in order to conserve storage space and download bandwidth. Suitability ranging from 0-1 was multiplied by 10,000 before conversion to integer, as documented in the revised metadata linked below.]

Metadata 

Species Names 

Current Time Period (2010)
Arctic (0.6 GiB)
Aridlands (7.8 GiB)
Boreal Forests (1.5 GiB)
Coastal (1.0 GiB)
Eastern Forests (1.9 GiB)
Generalists (2.1 GiB)
Grasslands (1.3 GiB)
Marshlands (2.5 GiB)
Subtropical Forests (0.5 GiB)
Urban/Suburban (227 MiB)
Waterbirds (3.1 GiB)
Western Forests (2.7 GiB)

RCP 4.5
Arctic (1.6 GiB)
Aridlands (4.9 GiB)
Boreal Forests (5.3 GiB)
Coastal (3.1 GiB)
Eastern Forests (5.9 GiB)
Generalists (6.6 GiB)
Grasslands (4.2 GiB)
Marshlands (7.8 GiB)
Subtropical Forests (1.7 GiB)
Urban/Suburban (0.7 GiB)
Waterbirds (9.3 GiB)
Western Forests (8.5 GiB)


RCP 8.5
Arctic (1.6 GiB)
Aridlands (5.0 GiB)
Boreal Forests (5.2 GiB
Coastal (3.2 GiB)
Eastern Forests (6.0 GiB)
Generalists (6.7 GiB)
Grasslands (4.2 GiB)
Marshlands (8.0 GiB)
Subtropical Forests (1.8 GiB)
Urban/Suburban (0.8 GiB)
Waterbirds (9.3 GiB)
Western Forests (8.6 GiB)


Derived Data
GainLossStableNetChange (913 MiB)
Richness (155 MiB)
Risk (223 MiB)
Central Grasslands Prioritization (15 MiB)