The knowledge of both potential distribution and habitat suitability is fundamental for conservation planning and management of a variety of taxa world-wide. Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied as predictive tools for these purposes. Such models are based on the concept of ecological niche and assume that species distribute themselves based on niche spaces defined by climate and habitat features. However, this assumption can be violated due to the existence of pure spatial range constraints, a factor rarely accounted for in SDMs, particularly for highly mobile species. We analyse whether pure distance effects, niche-based environmental responses or a combination of both factors can play an important role in limiting the large-scale distribution of highly mobile species.