Range expansion by Passer montanus in North America

J. L. Burnett, C. P. Roberts, C. R. Allen, M. B. Brown, M. P. Moulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Passer montanus became established in a small area of central North America following its introduction in 1870. P. montanus underwent minimal range expansion in the first 100 years following introduction. However, the North American population of P. montanus is now growing in size and expanding in geographic distribution, having expanded approximately 125 km to the north by 1970. We quantify the distance of spread by P. montanus from its introduction site in the greater St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois, USA area, using distributional (presence) data from the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count surveys for the period of 1951 to 2014. Linear regressions of the average annual range center of P. montanus confirmed significant shifts to the north at a rate of 3.3 km/year (P < 0.001) km/year. Linear regressions of the linear and angular distance of range center indicates significant northern movement (change in angle of mean range center; P < 0.001) since 1951. Our results quantify the extent of a northward range expansion, and suggesting a probable spread of this species northward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Christmas Bird Count
  • Non-indigenous
  • Passer montanus
  • Range expansion
  • Spread

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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