Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.71
Liaison Ian McKeown
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Loyola Marymount University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Eric Strauss
President's Professor in Urban Ecology
College of Science & Engineering
"---" 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 LMU Bluff is adjacent to the protected Riparian Corridor of the 51 acre Ballona Freshwater Marsh ecosystem (FWM). It is managed separately from the state Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (BWER) west of the property. However, the Bluff is important “fringe” habitat for birds and animals that are present in the Ballona Wetlands. Here are more sites to research more on this: http://ballonarestoration.org/


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:

Least Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) Endangered Subspecies returning to the vegetated corridors along the university bluff.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Highly desirable and protected bird of prey that is locally rare


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:

Here are some speciess who are either species of special concern, or state or federally listed as endangered, and who are found foraging or breeding in the Ballona Wetlands:

1. Belding’s Savannah Sparrow

2. El Segundo Blue Butterfly

3. Least Bell’s Vireo

4. Least Tern (Breeds at Least Tern Colony on Venice Beach, forages in the Wetlands for fish)

5. Legless Lizard

6. Virginia Rail

Here are some birds who have been extirpated (meaning they once bred here and now only pass through occasionally):

· Burrowing Owl (almost every winter there are one or two Burrowing Owls spotted in the Wetlands or along the Creek)

· California Gnatcatcher (rare sightings)

· California Quail (a single male and a single female were spotted several years apart, have not re-established breeding)

· Clapper Rail (hasn’t been seen for a long time)

· Loggerhead Shrike (it’s been declining, only winters at Ballona – rare sightings)


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

We have regularly scheduled surveys conducted by professional biologists and additional surveys conducted by community members and Audubon Volunteers


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

We have established a monthly monitoring program to assess avian biodiversity using a repeated observational transect. In addition, we have received funding and permits to conduct regularly scheduled mist netting to ascertain migratory and resident avian biodiversity.

With support from the Dan and Susan Gottlieb Foundation and logistical support from the LMU Facilities maintenance and Southern California Edison, we have installed a 65 foot tall osprey nesting platform on campus. This provides the first nesting habitat for this species in decades adjacent to The Ballona Wetlands. The tower is fitted with a internet enabled camera so that the nesting behavior can be viewed by the public via a dedicated You Tube Channel.


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

The lands adjacent to the campus are part of a State and Regional restoration initiative that is partly funded by the Annenberg Foundation. LMU and the Center for Urban Resilience are leading community science programs and STEM education professional development in urban ecology for middle and high school teachers. In addition, LMU operated a natural history park at the edge of the Ballona Reserve that serves a s both an outdoor classroom and public education space.


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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