Numerous studies have demonstrated that using ecological models is beneficial in recovering species listed un-der the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In addition, many federal agencies and environmental organizations have recom-mended using strategic approaches to conservation. One rare species in need of conservation is the American burying bee-tle (ABB, Nicrophorus americanus). The ABB was listed as endangered in 1989 and conservation efforts need to be tar-geted and improved to be successful in achieving de-listing. We combined presence/absence ABB surveys (1979- 2011), with habitat-based model projections, to identify specific habitats where the ABB is likely to occur. Our habitat based range for the ABB was 96.9% accurate in identifying positive ABB surveys (n=485) from 1979 to 2011. Previously, po-tential ABB habitat was identified using political or county boundaries and was not precise and also included areas that were unsuitable for ABB habitat. Using spatial data, known locations, and model projections, we reduced the potential habitat range by over 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) from the county delineation, resulting in greater precision for conservation of the ABB, more targeted conservation efforts, and reduced costs to other federal agencies and industry that are required to have minimal impact to this endangered species under the ESA. Our approach will be useful to other agen-cies and other states that need to target conservation and recovery efforts for rare invertebrates.