You are here

FIRE-BIRD: Habitat suitability model application tools for disturbance-associated woodpeckers


FIRE-BIRD is an ArcGIS spatial tool for applying habitat suitability models to generate maps that inform forest management planning. This tool focuses on disturbance-associated woodpecker species of conservation concern.

Overview and Applicability

Image of a logo for the tool FIRE-BIRD including the text FIRE-BIRD in the center with photos of woodpeckers, a wooded landscape, and GIS map surrounding the text. A transparent up close image of a tree trunk is in the background.
The FIRE-BIRD tool logo.
The habitat suitability models implemented in FIRE-BIRD, and their respective output, can inform forest management for sensitive disturbance-associated woodpecker species. The output of the FIRE-BIRD tool identifies areas most likely to support these species. The output can be used to identify areas of high suitability which can be targeted for conservation (e.g., design criteria for post-fire salvage logging) and to identify areas of marginal suitability where habitat improvements could be conducted (e.g., dry forest restoration activities).

Tools are currently developed for black-backed (Picoides arcticus), Lewis’s (Melanerpes lewis), and white-headed woodpecker (Dryobates albolvartus) in Inland Northwest burned forests; black-backed, white-headed, and hairy woodpecker (D. villosus) in Northern Sierra burned forests; and white-headed woodpecker in Inland Northwest unburned forests. The suite of species currently included makes this toolset best suited for postfire management and restoration treatments in dry mixed-conifer forests.

Additional species and forest conditions will continue to be added, broadening the scope of this toolset.

The General Technical Report (GTR) referenced/linked on this page describes the ecological basis for each tool and provides operational instructions and guidelines for applying habitat maps to inform planning (see Citation).

Feedback/Support (email):

Related tool (outside of RMRS)

Campos, Brent R., Steel, Zachary. FIRE-BAT User Manual (PDF download).


An image of what the FIRE-BIRD tool looks like showing an image of a forested landscape with arrows pointing to a computer drop down screen with arrows then pointing to a map showing a key for habitat suitability
The FIRE-BIRD tool.

Input variables are tool-specific and are documented within the FIRE-BIRD GTR-391: FIRE-BIRD: A GIS-based toolset for applying habitat suitability models to inform land management planning.


30-m resolution raster layers mapping the relative likelihood for species occurrence, i.e., habitat suitability indices (HSIs) with values ranging from 0 (low suitability) to 1 (high suitability).


USDA Forest Service Citrix Environment OR ArcGIS (ESRI)


Access to the USFS internal network T-Drive (T:\FS\RD\RMRS\Science\WTE\Research\HSI_applic_tool\TOOLBOX) OR a downloaded copy of FIRE-BIRD (zip file - 146 MB).

Restrictions and Limitations

FIRE-BIRD is open source and provided without charge. If you use FIRE-BIRD in your research, please cite the general technical report FIRE-BIRD: A GIS-based toolset for applying habitat suitability models to inform land management planning and use the citation below.


Latif, Quresh S.; Saab, Victoria A.; Haas, Jessica R.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2019. FIRE-BIRD: A GIS-based toolset for applying habitat suitability models to inform land management planning. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-391. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 74 p.

Release Notes

FIRE-BIRD v2.0 (zip file - 146 MB) is the most recent certified version (March 23, 2020).

Recent Publication

Cross, T.B., Latif, Q.S., Dudley, J.G., Saab, V.A. In Review. Lewis’s woodpecker nesting habitat suitability: predictive models for application within burned forests.


Latif, Quresh ; Saab, Victoria A. ; Haas, Jessica R. ; Dudley, Jonathan G. , 2018
Latif, Quresh ; Saab, Victoria A. ; Mellen-Mclean, Kim ; Dudley, Jonathan G. , 2015
Latif, Quresh ; Saab, Victoria A. ; Dudley, Jonathan G. ; Hollenbeck, Jeff P. , 2013
Saab, Victoria A. ; Russell, Robin E. ; Rotella, Jay ; Dudley, Jonathan G. , 2011
Saab, Victoria A. ; Russell, Robin E. ; Dudley, Jonathan G. , 2009
Russell, Robin E. ; Saab, Victoria A. ; Dudley, Jonathan G. , 2007

Research Staff: