Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 47.82
Liaison Rebecca Collins
Submission Date Dec. 10, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Temple University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Rebecca Collins
Director of Sustainability
Office of 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?:
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 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?:
No

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:

Since 2004, Temple has been conducting research on bird collisions with campus building windows. Philadelphia is situated along the Atlantic Flyway migration route and bird collisions into windows are an issue. Temple conducts ongoing surveys on collision hot spots on campus.

Comprehensive assessments include:

Philadelphia Zoo Migratory Bird Initiative
During the spring of 2009, as an expansion of the zoo's work in Center City, Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Zoo and Audubon Pennsylvania organized a survey of bird collisions on the main campus of Temple University in conjunction with Temple’s Office of Sustainability, Grounds Department and interested students and faculty. Student volunteers were recruited to monitor 12 buildings that were believed to be among the most collision prone buildings on the main campus. A total of 53 birds representing 15 species were found over the course of three weeks during spring migration. As a result of these findings, a student-led pilot study targeting a campus “collision hotspot” was conducted in the fall of 2010. Data was collected before and after a film matrix was applied over a large area of glass, demonstrating both the problem and the outcome of a solution. The Audubon Pennsylvania comprehensive assessment model included collection of the following data: building, side, location, approximate distance from the building, species, count, date, time, monitors, type of specimen. http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/Save-Wildlife/Our-Projects/Migratory-Bird-Initiative.htm

Temple Grounds and student-led assessments (based on Audubon Pennsylvania assessment model developed for Temple University) have been conducted during the spring and fall bird migration periods (March 15 - June 15 and August 15 - November 30) since spring 2009.


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

Temple's Main Campus buildings with large amounts of highly reflective or transparent glass, including buildings with vegetation situated close to the building.


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

Campus Mitigation Efforts:

Collision Survey: In addition to Temple’s counting efforts, Audubon Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Zoo organized a survey of bird collisions in the spring of 2009 on Temple’s Main Campus. The buildings that had the most number of collisions on Main Campus are those that use highly reflective glass, buildings with vegetation situated close to windows or buildings with transparent or reflective glass walkways.

Hawk Models: In the spring of 2010, eight 2-dimensional, life-sized models of bird eating hawks were created from photos and mounted on four collision prone buildings at Temple to see if bird collision rates were reduced in areas where the models were erected. This method of preventing bird collisions had never been tried before anywhere else in the world. This mitigation method was not effective at reducing bird strikes.

Window Film: Research has shown that birds will avoid flying through spaces that are 2” high or less and 4” wide or less (2x4 rule). Window patterns that follow the 2x4 rule can be an effective means of mitigating bird collisions.

Window film has been tested in a variety of locations on Main Campus though student projects and research, including:

Tyler Graphic Design students designed patterns for window film in a juried competition. The winning design was installed on the Tuttleman-Paley connector walkway windows in partnership with SurfaceCare.
Student research project in Beury Hall, first floor west entrance and glass corridor where translucent squares and designs were installed on windows. Click to read more.
As of August 2015, window film has been installed on three campus buildings (Tuttleman-Paley bridge, Gladfelter Hall mezzanine level and Ritter Hall at the Rad Dish Cafe).

Window Netting: Window netting has been an effective and low-cost method of mitigating bird deaths and injuries by allowing birds to bounce off a taut net and not strike the window. A 2012 student research project aimed to test the effectiveness of window netting installed on buildings. Click to read more.

Fritted Glass: The installation of high density fritted glass has shown to be an effective method of mitigating bird strikes. Fritted glass has been installed on portions of Morgan Hall which opened in August 2013. Monitoring began in 2014 to determine the effectiveness of this mitigation strategy for Temple’s campus and has so far shown positive results.

Design Guidelines: Bird-friendly design guidelines have been incorporated into Temple's 2014 Master Plan.

Campus Awareness:

Creating campus awareness of bird-window collisions has been an important aspect of mitigation efforts undertaken on campus. Through collaborative efforts, news articles, informational signage and presentations, Temple is spreading the word about its efforts to reduce bird deaths. Click below to view some examples:

Sullivan Hall display
GRID Magazine: When Art and Birds (Don't) Collide
College of Liberal Arts light switch campaign
2016 World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities Conference at MIT


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