Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.59
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Raritan Valley Community College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jay Kelly
Instructor
Biology and Environmental Studies
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
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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:

Endangered and vulnerable species identified were:
Boraginaceae Mertensia virginica Virginia Bluebells Imperiled (S2)
Cooper's Hawk Falconiiformes Special Concern
Red-Headed Woodpecker Piciformes Threatened
Box Turtle Terrapene c. carolina Reptilia Special Concern
Wood Turtle Glyptemys insculpta Threatened


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:

Streams running through campus are tributaries to the Raritan River. The southern end of campus has a stream that feeds into a pond. The west side of campus has the headwaters of another stream that empties (through underground pipes) into the southern stream. The northeast corner of campus has a third stream that is a tributory of the Raritan. All three receive runoff from campus and are affected by salt in winter. The southern and northeastern streams are prone to erosion from stormwater.


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

Stream visual assessments (SVAP2) are done by students every semester, with thorough stream buffer and pond assessments every 5 years for River Friendly recertification.

We do trail camera studies for campus mammals (including but not restricted to T&E species) each winter/spring with our Vertebrate Zoology class (BIOL247). 20 students systematically set out 20 infrared trail cameras in diverse habitats across the campus for two weeks to get a snapshot of winter/spring mammal diversity.

We do annual spotlight (and now infrared drone surveys) of campus deer populations to assess their impact to campus forest environments, and re-sample our two forest monitoring plots annually to document the effects of deer populations and deer management on forest regeneration and other understory variables. These surveys are conducted with the Vertebrate Zoology (BIOL247) class and wildlife research interns each spring semester, and forest monitoring is conducted with Ecology in the fall (BIOL231).


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

All streams on campus are assessed. All forest patches are surveyed.


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

Under RVCCs Memorandum of Understanding with the EPA, RVCC adopted a GreenScapes policy in March 2011. This formalized RVCC's policy of planting native plant species, adopted as part of the River Friendly program in 2010. The GreenScapes policy states RVCC's goal when landscaping to plant diverse species of native plants in order to provide wildlife habitat.

The College has two deer exclosures to protect plants from deer browse.

As part of River Friendly certification, in 2010 RVCC installed a dozen bird boxes on campus and students conducted a wildlife inventory for the campus. In 2019, 21 bat houses were installed on campus.

The college uses environmentally friendly ice melt.


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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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.