Potentially suitable habitat for the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) was identified within their Southern Plains range. The American burying beetle (ABB) is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, but in 2019 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to reclassify this species as threatened. We applied a deductive model for the ABB that identified potentially suitable habitat using LANDFIRE Existing Vegetation Types (EVT). The habitat model ranked each EVT using one of four categories: (1) favorable; suitable vegetation to support all or critical portions of the ABB life cycle, (2) conditional; favorable only under certain conditions including seasonality of flooding and land management practices, (3) marginal; may provide limited habitat for portions of the ABB life cycle, or (4) unsuitable; does not provide habitat for any portion of the life cycle. We supplemented the habitat model with an ancillary dataset that mapped the estimated surface disturbance footprint from development (road, railroad, agricultural, urban, mineral, and energy development). All cells ranked as favorable, conditional, or marginal were reclassified as unsuitable if development was present. Source and derived raster datasets have a spatial resolution of 30 x 30 meters. The derived habitat suitability map indicates the location of potential habitat based on EVT and development within the Southern Plains range of the ABB. Because additional factors can strongly affect ABB occurrence (including soil type, availability of carrion, management activities, seasonality of flooding, and climate), areas identified as favorable or conditional habitat may not be occupied by the ABB.
|Title||Estimated habitat suitability for the American burying beetle using land cover classes in the Southern Plains (ver. 1.1, June 2020)|
|Authors||Heidi (Contractor) Laura Bencin, Benjamin (Contractor) Robert Harms, Natasha B Carr|
|Product Type||Data Release|
|Record Source||USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|