Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.51
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Principia College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 John Lovseth
Director
Lands Stewardship
"---" 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:

Principia is a rural campus with several protected assets both on and adjacent to the campus. For example, the PIASA CREEK WATERSHED PROJECT (Great Rivers Land Trust) reduces sedimentation in the 78,000 acre watershed located in portions of Jersey, Madison, and Macoupin counties in Illinois (adjacent to the college). PERE MARQUETTE STATE PARK, 10 mi W of the college, embraces 8,000 acres at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. TWO RIVERS NWR is also located at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers; more than 200,000 waterfowl make a stop at the refuge each fall and spring on their biannual migration. MARK TWAIN NWR complex was established for the protection of migratory birds along the Mississippi Flyway, and includes islands adjacent to college property. Finally, on-campus holdings include hundreds of acres protected by the USDA Conservation Reserve Program.


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:

Ongoing research is focused on threatened or endangered bat (Myotis sodalis, M. septentrionalis) and snake (Crotalus horridus) species. Bat studies are conducted using a D500x Petterson Bat Detector to identify species resident in the Principia Forest. Timber rattlesnakes are radio-tracked daily (May-October) by students in a partnership between the college and the St Louis Zoo. Prairie wildlife inventories are performed by Grassland Ecology students, providing data on small mammal populations; similarly, native fish populations in campus ponds are censused by Wildlife Management students. These programs are administered and assessed by the Biology and Natural Resources Department.


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

Principia College has an active Lands Stewardship Program, including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification in 2012 of its forestry program and products (note: FSC certification was suspended in 2017 because we stopped our logging program, the certification will be re-initiated should our logging be resumed). In addition, remnant hill prairies on college land are maintained (i.e., mowing, burn and planting regimes) and monitored by the Biology and Natural Resources Department. Hill prairies, located on or near the Mississippi River bluffs, support many rare and endangered species, including the Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea).


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

A Forest Management Plan is in place in accordance with our FSC certification, and is subject to evaluation by independent auditors. Annual prairie burns are performed to replicated historic disturbance regimes and to ensure that the ecosystem health is maintained.


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.