Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date March 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

American University
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Stephanie DeStefano
Grounds Operations Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

A legally protected area, National Park Service property, is adjacent to campus.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
No

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Yes, none of the threatened or endangered species native to Washington, DC were found on site.
Source: http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/stateListingIndividual.jsp?state=DC&status=listed


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Hay’s Spring Amphipod (Stygobromus hayi)
This species is native to Washington D.C. and grows in freshwater habitats. However the nature of this animal requires that it be in water at all times. This site does not provide a stable source of water and therefore does not support this animal. See site map.
Source: Inland Water Crustacean Specialist Group 1996. Stygobromus hayi. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 July 2010.
American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus amerianus)
This species is capable of adapting to variable environments so long as there is food in the form of dead organisms lying around. They prefer grasslands or understory hickory oak forests. This site is a high traffic area which means it must be constantly maintained. Therefore any carrion present on the site will be promptly removed, leaving no food source for the beetle.
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1997. American Burying Beetle. <http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/abb_fact.html >. Downloaded on 28 July 2010.
Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)
The Eskimo Curlew is a migratory bird that lives in three different places in one year. It prefers open tall grass fields such as prairies and pastures. This site has patches of tall grass such as Yaku Jima and Fountain Grass, however the site does not provide an adequate habitat for the Eskimo Curlew to live, because the grasses are all individually planted with enough spacing that they do not touch each other. In addition, the two key sources of food for the Curlew are not provided on this site. Crowberries are not native or present in the D.C. area, and the Rocky Mountain Grasshopper is extinct.
BirdLife International 2009. Numenius borealis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 July 2010.
Eastern Cougar (Puma concolor couguar)
The cougar is too large of an animal to be supported by this site because it is an urban development. No additional shelters have been created to specifically house the Eastern Cougar.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2008. Eastern Cougar. < http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar/>. Downloaded on 28 July 2010.
Dwarf Wedge Mussel (Alasmidonta heterodon)
The Dwarf Wedge Mussel lives in the sand in water that is constantly flowing and is high quality. This site does not provide a source of water that is constantly moving and therefore does not support this species. See site map.
Bogan, A.E 2000. Alasmidonta heterodon. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 July 2010.

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
The Gray Wolf is too large an animal to be supported by this site because it is an urban development. No additional shelters have been created to specifically house the Gray Wolf.
Mech, L.D. & Boitani, L. 2008. Canis lupus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 July 2010.
Small Whorled Pogonia (Isotria meleoloides)
The Small Whorled Pogonia grows in second to third succession forests, meaning middle aged trees and some ground cover. It prefers moist, acidic soil with low organic material. The plant usually grows in the presence of dead material such as fallen trunks and leaves. It prefers moderate sunlight with little groundcover plants such as ferns around it. The Pogonia also prefers growing near features that create long breaks in forest canopies, such as roads or streams. The site selected contains soils with a pH of 5.2, and an organic content of .28%. Ground cover is well spread, with several mature trees. One challenge is the water content, because most plants are drought tolerant the goal is aiming for minimal watering which the Small Whorled Pogonia may not be able to tolerate. Finally, the Small Whorled Pogonia shares a very crucial relationship with particular fungal species, which are not known at this time but the absence of its presence will be fatal to the Small Whorled Pogonia.
Von Oettingen, Susanna L. 1992. Small Whorled Pogonia (Isotria meleoloides) Recovery Plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Concord, NH.


A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

American University grounds are Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). AU's grounds provide food (berries, nectar, sap, pollen, and foliage/twigs) and water (rain gardens and a pond) for wildlife. Wooded areas, rock walls, dense shrubs, evergreens, burrows, and a pond provide wildlife shelter. Mature trees, host plants, and a water garden also provide wildlife with appropriate spaces for raising their young. Additionally, sustainable gardening practices include: xeriscaping, rain water capture, IPM, mulching, native plants, lawn area reduction, and composting.


The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.