Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.96
Liaison Adam Sizemore
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Miami University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Adam Sizemore
Director of Sustainability
Physical Facilities Department
"---" 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 the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

In 1992, Miami University President, Paul Pearson wrote, " We all recognize the rapid rate of loss of natural green-belt areas in our state and nation as our population increases, causing growing demands for housing, commerce and industry, highways, power lines, and other support services. I am very concerned that the natural, green-belt areas around much of Miami's Oxford campus will fall victim to these demands". In the same year, the Miami University's board of trustees voted unanimously to establish, in perpetuity, official "Miami University Natural Areas" protection for designated greenbelt lands, totaling over 1,000 acres to the south, east and northeast of campus. The areas include the Bachelor Wildlife and Game Reserve, Reinhart Preserve, Kramer Woods, Western Woods, College Woods, Women's Recreation Association, Four-Mile Creek Corridor, Silvoor Sanctuary, Peffer Woods, Marcum Woods, and the Ecology Research Center. Over 17 miles of hiking trails provide access for education, research, and recreation to faculty, students, and community members.

The Natural Areas Committee, comprised of 13 faculty, staff and community members, reports to the President of the University and is responsible for the oversight and management of the Natural Areas System.


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:

Over the past 20 years, multiple research and class projects have been conducted by faculty and students in forests, streams, and wetland areas of the Natural Areas System, many of them involving measurements and identification of plants and animals. These include classes such as plant taxonomy, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, and invertebrate zoology. In 2010, an experimental study was initiated to investigate the long-term impacts of white-tailed deer overabundance, invasive forest shrub (Amur honeysuckle), and exotic earthworms on native forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The results of this study have already led to a set of management recommendations that will be implemented in future years.


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

Hundreds of species of plants and animals have been recorded in the Natural Areas system from 1992-2015. Of the many uncommon or rare species, the following federally or state listed species of plants and animals are known to occur or are very likely to occur in the Natural Areas System.
Federally Listed Species:
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) - Endangered
Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) - Threatened
Ohio Listed Species:
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) - Endangered
Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Endangered
Northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) - Endangered
Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) - Endangered
Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) - Endangered
Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chyroptera) - Endangered
Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) - Threatened
Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) - Threatened
Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - Threatened
Osprey (Pandion haliaeutus) - Threatened
Midwest spike-moss (Selaginella eclipes) - Threatened
Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) - Concern
Cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea) - Concern
Prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea) - Concern
Black vulture (Coragyps atratus) - Concern
Northern bobwhite (Colinas virginianus) - Concern
Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) - Concern
Queen snake (Regina septemvittata) - Concern
Eastern cricket frog (Acris crepitans crepitans) - Concern


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

As defined in the original charter of the Natural Areas System, the MU natural lands are protected in perpetuity. Despite the protected status of the natural areas, anthropogenic threats such as climate change and invasive species are ongoing stressors of these ecosystems. In the future, we plan on implementing more active management of invasive species and deer overabundance in our natural areas.


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