Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date Jan. 7, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dalhousie University
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Stephen Cushing
Communications Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
No

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:
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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?:
Yes

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

Campus tree inventory: A 2009/2010 tree inventory crew composed of students measured canopy height and width, height, diameter, site condition, canopy condition, trunk condition, light quality among other variables. This data collection identified significant tree species to be protected on campus and served as the basis for tree management (i.e., planning, planting, and maintenance).

Campus bird studies: Bird surveys were conducted on the Halifax campuses (in 2011 and 2013) by Office of Sustainability staff and the Nova Scotia Bird Society. Local bird groups compiled bird data on the Agricultural campus in 2013. Data were also collected from the Maritime Breeding Bird. Approximately 30 species of birds counted on the Halifax campuses and approximately 40 recorded species that visit the Agricultural Campus. These numbers are likely to fluctuate during seasonal breeding and migration.

Other methodologies include: campus tree values survey and interviews, campus geological studies, campus sustainability surveys, campus master plans, consultation with grounds management staff and professional consultation.


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

In total, over 1000 trees and 1000 shrubs have been inventoried on campus. Tree inventory data has revealed some 110 species of trees and shrubs on campus. Some of the most common species include Norway maple, red oak, American elm, Norway spruce, Little leaf linden, sycamore maple, and paper birch. A remnant landscape of the native Acadian forest is found on the south-western corner of the Studley campus (i.e., Shirreff Hall oak stand). Here, a healthy 250-year old oak stands as one of the oldest trees in Halifax. This landscape is a remnant of the original oak/white pine Acadian Forest found before the campus was developed.
The Cobequid trail along the Salmon River in Truro has been identified as an area to preserve biodiversity of plant species along the slope towards the river, but also to naturalize to encourage butterflies and other pollinators. This riparian slope and landscape is essential in slope stabilization and as wildlife habitat (frequented by many migrating and local bird species).

In addition to some 40 -50 species of birds found on both the Halifax and Agricultural campus of Dalhousie, some rare species found on campus include: barred owl, chimney swift, Northern cardinal, red-bellied woodpecker, saw-whet owl, yellow-billed cuckoo, black-backed woodpecker, red crossbill, red-bellied woodpecker, sandhill crane, bald eagle, and barred owl.


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

Management programs in sensitive areas (e.g., Salmon River slope, and Shirreff Hall Oak stand) include the elimination of mowing and encouragement of native species to colonize. In an effort to reduce damage to campus trees during construction or renovation, tree barriers set construction activity outside the tree’s dripline. There is an opportunity to be strategic with landscape management to attract beneficial wildlife to the campus.

The campus Natural Environment Plan highlights some of these opportunities: increase plant food sources for pollinators and birds, establish nesting opportunities, provide protection for the rare (e.g., chimney swift, peregrine falcon) and the more common bird species on campus.


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.