Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.09
Liaison Ali Dutton
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Florida International University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Alexandra Dutton
Program Manager
Office of University Sustainability
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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 the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

The FIU Nature Preserve features a 1-acre pine rockland ecosystem in the center. This “globally imperiled” ecosystem is only found in South Florida; only 2% remain of Miami Dade County’s original pine rockland.

The BBC campus is situated along the Biscayne Bay fringed with state mangroves that are protected by conservation laws and this campus is adjoined to the Oleta River State Park.

The FIU Aquarius Reef Base is the world’s only undersea research laboratory. Deployed 60 feet beneath the surface in the protected Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory 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 methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas (including most recent year assessed) and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

The Office of University Sustainability has worked with campus faculty experts and Miami Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management to identify endangered and vulnerable species flora and fauna present at the MMC campus nature preserve. The flora and fauna inventory is a representation of the plants and animals found in the Florida International University Nature Preserve; as such it may or may not fully represent all plant and animal species found on university grounds. Native status presented in this inventory checklist refers to nativity of a given species to inland southern Florida. It is not final and additional species may be added or removed in the future as needed. The most recent plant assessment was February 2016.


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

From an inventory of approximately 266 different species of plants found in the FIU nature preserve common names of 15 state threatened include: Wild Dilly, Simpson Stopper, Pineland allamanda, Spicewood, Locustberry, Christmas Berry, Blodgett’s Swallowwort, Bahama Ladder Brake, Chapman’s Wild Sensitive Plant, Lacelips Ladiestresses, West Indian Mahogany, Tetrazigia, Northern Needleleaf, Banded Airplant; common names of 12 state endangered include: Mrytle-of-the-river, Satinleaf, Man-in-the-ground, skyblue clustervine, Soldierwood, Smooth Strongbark, Bahama Strongbark Mosier’s False Boneset, Lignum vitae, Florida Bitterbush, Cardinal Airplant, Giant Wild Pine; common name of 1 federally endangered is listed as Miami Crennulated Lead Plant.

FIU’s fauna inventory of 180 total species includes bird, moth and butterfly, reptile and amphibian, and mammals. This representation of animals found in the Nature Preserve may or may not fully represent all animal species found on university grounds. Native status presented in this checklist refers to nativity of a given species to inland southern Florida. It is not final and additional species may be added or removed in the future as needed. This inventory was last updated in 2014.

In the bird inventory are 6 species of special concern including Osprey, Little Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, 2 state threatened including the American Kestrel and White Crowned Pigeon, and 1 federally threatened Wood Stork. In the moth and butterfly inventory are many rare and 2 federally threatened Cassius Blue and the Ceraunus Blue.


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

The FIU Nature Preserve is an 11 acre preserve located on the Modesto Maidique Campus. The preserve is a certified wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, a certified butterfly garden with the North American Butterfly Association, and a certified important bird area with the Audubon Society. This means that FIU’s conscientious planning, landscaping, and gardening in this area has been successful in protecting and providing significant and quality wildlife habitat – food, water, shelter, and areas to raise young. Three diverse ecosystems provide significant habitat for our 13 endangered plant species and 17 threatened plant species. In addition to this wildlife habitat there is also an organic fruit and vegetable garden. http://gogreen.fiu.edu/topics/the-nature-preserve/index.html

FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus is home to a native garden project began in the Spring of 2009. This project has grown and established three large gardens on BBC that aim to attract butterflies and other wildlife using Florida native plants. These gardens are great success and support many butterfly and moth species. The most sited butterfly species on campus include Monarchs and Sulphurs. The newest edition is the Atala butterfly. The Atala almost was extinct because of the removal of its food source, the coontie. The Atala is labeled as a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need”. http://seas.fiu.edu/outreach/florida-friendly-landscaping/

Also on BBC, and led by the School of Environment, Arts & Society, is the Mangrove Restoration project which began in September 2009. Mangroves are vitally important to South Florida. Their roots serve as a source of food, shelter, and as a nursery ground for countless species of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, birds, and reptiles, including the threatened American crocodile. http://seas.fiu.edu/outreach/mangrove-restoration/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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