maskRangeR is an R package that post-processes species distribution models (SDMs) for estimating a species’ current range. Among other functionalities, it spatiotemporally matches in-situ observations of a species’ occurrence to remote sensing (e.g. MODIS-derived) products to derive accurate metrics important to species’ tolerances, and uses them to refine species distribution model predictions and estimate the species’ current range, e.g. accounting for land cover change.

The Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO-BON) works to improve the communication of biodiversity measurements to decision makers and the broader scientific community. To locally serve regional scientific and political communities, GEO-BON has implemented a BON-in-a-Box service that delivers customizable online toolkits for enhancing biodiversity observation systems. maskRangeR package development was funded by the NASA ROSES award No. 80NSSCK0406 to collaboratively improve the utility of the Colombia BON-in-a-Box toolkit as well as build capacity for conservation practitioners and educators. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Click here for the maskRangeR vignette.


maskRangeR is developed as part of a project to build new modules for Wallace; a modular, R-based platform for reproducible modeling of species niches and distributions. The application guides users through a complete analysis, from the acquisition of data to visualizing model predictions on an interactive map, thus bundling complex workflows into a single, streamlined interface.

Integration with BioModelos

BioModelos is a BON-in-a-box tool for Colombia’s BON. It helps connect biodiversity experts with data and tools. Through facilitating the curation of occurrence records, editing models, identifying suitable ecological variables and assisting in model approval, BioModelos is the bridge between expert modeling and expert (taxonomic) knowledge. Conservation practitioners can access important model statistics (indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services) such as: extent of occurrence, proportion of range under protected status, and projected change in future scenarios.

Training materials

Also in development are training materials and best practices for modeling species’ niches and distributions in biodiversity change indicator assessments for the expanded Wallace in both English and Spanish. Materials will be web-based and openly available. They will be available as both guidance text within Wallace and also published as part of an open source teaching module for the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History (CBC-AMNH) Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP). NCEP is a global initiative that seeks to improve the availability and quality of conservation education and professional training.