Design, sampling and data interpretation constitute an important challenge for wildlife surveillance of avian influenza viruses (AIV). The aim of this study was to construct a model to improve and enhance identification in both different periods and locations of avian species likely at high risk of contact with AIV in a specific wetland. This study presents an individual-based stochastic model for the Ebre Delta as an example of this appliance. Based on the Monte-Carlo method, the model simulates the dynamics of the spread of AIV among wild birds in a natural park following introduction of an infected bird. Data on wild bird species population, apparent AIV prevalence recorded in wild birds during the period of study, and ecological information on factors such as behaviour, contact rates or patterns of movements of waterfowl were incorporated as inputs of the model. From these inputs, the model predicted those species that would introduce most of AIV in different periods and those species and areas that would be at high risk as a consequence of the spread of these AIV incursions. This method can serve as a complementary tool to previous studies to optimize the allocation of the limited AI surveillance resources in a local complex ecosystem. However, this study indicates that in order to predict the evolution of the spread of AIV at the local scale, there is a need for further research on the identification of host factors involved in the interspecies transmission of AIV. © 2012 Alba et al.