Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.54
Liaison Kelli O'Day
Submission Date June 20, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of California, Davis
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kelli O'Day
Assessment Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:

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

The Davis campus falls within a region of conservation importance, as identified in the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool for Research and Conservation Planning.

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?:

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:

A full list of possible endangered and vulnerable species can be found in the attached “Sensitive Biological Resources - Excerpt of the 2018 LDPR EIR” or in tables 3.5-2 and 3.5-3 of the following document:

Note that the 2018 Long Range Development Plan Environmental Impact Report (LDPR EIR) classified species on campus using the legal status definitions provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List categories were not used or analyzed in the 2018 LRDP EIR. As defined under IUCN Red List categories, the vulnerable California Tiger Salamander and the near threatened California Red-legged Frog can both be found on the UC Davis campus.

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

Certain areas on the campus and adjacent lands are identified as suitable nesting and/or foraging habitat for several species of nesting, migrating or wintering special-status birds-of-prey, including the threatened species, Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni), in addition to burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia). Northwestern pond turtles (Clemmys marmorata) are species of special concern and are found in the campus Arboretum Waterway and along Putah Creek. Mexican elderberry shrubs (Sambucus spp.) are present in some areas of campus, and could potentially host the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (Desmoceros californicus dimorphus). In addition, potentially supportive habitats exist for the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and giant garter snake, although no individuals of these species have been observed on campus lands.

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

For the 2018 Long Range Development Plan Environmental Impact Report (LDRP EIR), the California Natural Diversity Data Base, the California Native Plant Society database, and the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service species list were reviewed to determine occurrence or potential occurrence of special status plant or wildlife species, and natural communities of special concern on or within an approximate 5-mile radius of the campus. The campus is located within the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan. As part of the 2018 LRDP EIR requirements, the campus performs species monitoring for any project site proposed for development that has potential habitat for identified species.

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

The plan area includes the entire 5,300-acre UC Davis campus (west, central, and south campuses and Russell Ranch) in unincorporated Yolo County and a portion of Solano County, California. The entire project area is bordered on the southern edge by Putah Creek, except for a portion of south campus which crosses the creek. SR 113 separates west campus from central campus, and Interstate 80 (I-80) separates west campus and central campus from south campus. The approximately 1,600-acre Russell Ranch portion of the campus lies to the west, separated from the west campus by approximately 1.5 miles of privately owned agricultural land and is approximately 4 miles west of State Route (SR) 113.

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

UC Davis has a natural habitat program, which includes the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve and the Russell Ranch Habitat Area, totaling about 700 acres (together they equal 13.2% of the land holdings of UC Davis). These two areas include preserved and restored lands, and permit research and teaching uses, as well as public access at the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve.

Additionally, the 2018 LRDP EIR includes numerous mitigation measures that require actions by UC Davis to protect biological resources on campus in form of a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP). An example is that this MMRP requires pre-construction surveys to determine if special status species are present at a specific project site and additional species specific mitigation measures if any species are found. See attached Table 3-1 2018 LRDP Mitigation and Monitoring and Reporting Program - Excerpt of the 2018 LRDP EIR MMRP.

Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Details on campus biodiversity initiatives are available through the following links:

Cora Ballek, student employee at the UC Davis Sustainability office, assisted in compiling this credit response.

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.