SpecSel, short for Species Selection, is a program written in Java which computes a set of indicator species from a pool of candidate species using an objective niche-based approach as described in [1,2].

specsel bird imageAvailability

SpecSel and its source code are freely available under the GNU General Public License. To get the program, download SpecSel zipped folder. More information on how to use the program can be found in the README file which is also included in the zipped folder.


If you have questions concerning the program or would like to report a bug please e-mail Taoyang Wu or contact Dr. Simon Butler.


  1. A niche-based framework to assess current monitoring of European forest birds and guide indicator species' selection Wade, A.S.I., Barov, B., Burfield, I.J., Gregory, R.D., Norris, K., Wu, T., and Butler S.J.,PLoS ONE 9(5): e97217
  2. An objective, niche-based approach to indicator species selection Butler, S.J., Freckleton, R.P., Renwick, A.R., and Norris, K. 2012, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 3:317-326.


This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Research team

Dr. Taoyang Wu, Dr. Simon Butler