Buxbaumia viridis is a rare policy species restricted to decaying woods in forests. Although Member States of EU are required to monitor its conservation status, specific models able to predict species distribution are still lacking. However, the availability of such models would strongly improve the efficiency in collection additional data and consequently lead to a better knowledge of its ecology. Aims of this work were (i) to provide a model for species distribution assessing the importance of different environmental variables thought to be important in setting the occurrence of Buxbaumia viridis and (ii) to test the effect of imperfect detection in defining the environmental space where the species occur. With this work, records of B. viridis increased twofold in the Alpine region of Italy, passing from 13 records to 26. We showed that on the Alps, occurrence of Buxbaumia viridis was best predicted by northness, rainfall, canopy closure and necromass. Necromass was the single most important variable. A volume of 48–61 m3/ha of necromass was identified as the threshold value determining the high probability of species occurrence. The imperfect detection probability of the species (p=0.25), biased towards zero the importance of the environmental variables.