Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.06
Liaison Margaret Bounds
Submission Date June 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Connecticut College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Miles Sax
Charles and Sarah P. Becker ’27 Arboretum Director
Connecticut College Arboretum
"---" 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, or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

The college protects approximately 583 acres as natural areas and lands managed for wildlife and conservation. The area around Mamacoke Island in the Thames River is recognized as a National Audubon Important Bird Area.


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) – CT Rare to uncommon (S2S3), Special concern (SC). Species has suffered decline and is at risk of extinction in New England.
Great Egret (Ardea albus) – State Threatened
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) – State Threatened
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) State Threatened
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) Vulnerable (IUCN)


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

We protect one of Connecticut's only unditched tidal salt marshes. State Threated Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Bald Eagle feed or hunt around this marsh and the adjacent Island. This marsh and surrounding habitat have been recognized by National Audubon Important Bird Area. We have expanded early successional habitat to support declining bird species. Based on the Connecticut Important Bird Area list of species of global concern or of continental or regional concern because of population declines and habitat loss our natural areas and managed meadows support breeding populations of many species of continental and regional concern. The campus proper also supports a population of Chimney Swifts which are of global concern. We have mapped in GIS all vernal pools on college property and protect a multiple small bog/fens. We have 583 acres of natural area that are managed for wildlife habitat and conservation.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Milkweed populations are monitored annually by counting and collaboration with the Native Plant Trust. Bolleswood Natural Area detailed vegetation surveys every 10 years since 1951. Breeding bird census approx. every 2 years. Annual waterfowl surveys in Thames River conducted in 2016. Salt Marsh vegetation are mapped periodically (every 10 - 20 years). Entire property has been extensively botanized and "birded" for decades by faculty members, professional ecologists and students. Faculty members publish on their findings and advise local conservation organizations. Funding sources are provided by Connecticut College Arboretum for student and faculty involvement for long term monitoring programs. Observations of flora and fauna are regularly updated to INaturalist.


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

Assessments (Bird, vegetation, reptile) are done by professional ecologists and academics using standard field methods. Scope of assessment is defined by researcher but generally focus on Mamacoke Marsh and the Bolleswood Natural Area (80 acres)


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

Ongoing monitoring, species specific conservation plans, reduction and elimination of invasive species, permanent land protection for the Arboretum under conservation easement.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
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Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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