Tools and information to support the GBIF community

Resource details

Maxent software for species habitat modeling


The Maxent software is based on the maximum-entropy approach for species habitat modeling. This software takes as input a set of layers or environmental variables (such as elevation, precipitation, etc.), as well as a set of georeferenced occurrence locations, and produces a model of the range of the given species.


Phillips, S., Dudik, M. & Schapire, R.


, Monday, November 1, 2010

Target audience

Biodiversity data users


The model for a species is determined from a set of environmental or climate layers (or "coverages") for a set of grid cells in a landscape, together with a set of sample locations where the species has been observed.  The model expresses the suitability of each grid cell as a function of the environmental variables at that grid cell.  A high value of the function at a particular grid cell indicates that the grid cell is predicted to have suitable conditions for that species.  The computed model is a probability distribution over all the grid cells.  The distribution chosen is the one that has maximum entropy subject to some constraints: it must have the same expectation for each feature (derived from the environmental layers) as the average over sample locations.

Bibliographic citation

Phillips, S., Dudik, M. & Schapire, R., 2010, “Maxent Software, ver. 3.3.3e”.


This software may be freely downloaded and used for all educational and research activities. This software may not be used for any commercial or for-profit purposes. The software is provided "as-is", and does not come with any warranty or guarantee of any kind. The software may not be further distributed.

Rights holder

Phillips, S., Dudik, M. & Schapire, R.