Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.79
Liaison Ryan Chabot
Submission Date April 23, 2024

STARS v2.2

University of Central Florida
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ryan Chabot
Sustainability Coordinator
Arboretum and Sustainability Initiatives
"---" 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:
There are 3 different conservation land classifications that define the >800 acres of natural lands on UCF’s main campus.

Conservation easement – UCF’s main campus hosts 319 acres of conservation easement, which is protected in perpetuity by the Saint John’s River Water Management District (SJRWMD).

Wetland Conservation – UCF’s main campus hosts 386 acres of wetland conservation that is protected by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), which has been in charge of managing the protection of the state’s wetland ecosystems under the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) program since 1993. Under the ERP program, any dredging, filling, or construction in or near a wetland must be approved and monitored by the FDEP.

Upland Conservation – UCF’s main campus hosts 49 acres of upland conservation. This land is protected through a verbal commitment from the administration of the university.

Nearly half of UCF’s Main Campus acreage is natural land, uplands, bodies of water, and wetland habitats. One third of these natural areas preserved in perpetual Conservation Easements to the St. Johns River Water Management District. The remainder of UCF’s natural areas, including uplands, wetlands, and wetland buffers, are set aside for long-term preservation, but are not held under a Conservation Easement.


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:
Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) - Vulnerable

Britton’s Beargrass (Nolina brittoniana) - FL endangered; US endangered

Curtiss’ Milkweed (Asclepius curtisii) - FL endangered; US none

Pineland Butterfly Pea – FL endangered; US none

Titusville Balm – FL endangered; US none

Blue butterwort (Pinguicula caerulea) - FL threatened; US none

Garberia (Garberia heterophylla) - FL threatened; US none

Giant Orchid - FL threatened; US none

Hooded Pitcherplant – FL threatened; US none

Leafless Beaked Orchid – FL threatened; US none

Manyflowered Grasspink – FL threatened; US none

Pine Lily – FL threatened; US none

Yellow Butterwort – FL threatened; US none

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:
UCF campus contains significant natural resource areas, many of which are protected from future development. Areas of interest include the Arboretum, preserved upland areas, wetland conservation easements and other wetlands, Lakes Lee and Claire, and campus stormwater ponds. Natural areas provide substantial habitat for diverse and abundant plant and wildlife populations. The preservation of both the quantity and quality of these resources is vital to the continued ecological function of these resources as well as the character of the UCF campus.

All habitats and ecosystems of the natural areas have been surveyed and mapped by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). Environmentally sensitive areas include conservation easements that are recorded with the state and the local water management district.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Gopher Tortoises and their burrows are surveyed and monitored periodically by Landscape and Natural resources.

Vegetation monitoring is completed twice a year, in June and December, for compliance monitoring required for environmental permits with the SJRWMD. A total of thirty-nine (39) vegetation plots are located in the natural areas, and data collected is also used for habitat evaluation and restoration research. Vegetation monitoring is completed to collect plant occurrence data to determine habitat health and record changes in the plant community at specific monitoring locations in the undeveloped portions of campus. This process provides valuable information that is crucial to the Natural Resources Team’s effective management of the land. It is their duty to promote biodiversity and ecosystem health for the different communities harbored on campus. The community types are defined by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI).

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
All natural lands are monitored.

Vegetation Monitoring Plots at UCF: https://www.green.ucf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2016-Monitoring-Plots.pdf

Map of Gopher Tortoise Burrows in Surveyed Units: page 233 Figure 9.0-6 Microsoft Word - 1.0 INTRODUCTION 11.7.19.docx (ucf.edu)

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
Prescribed burn program in place to assist in managing the fire influenced habitats on campus and reduce fuel loading. Winter burns reduce fuel loading, and spring/summer burns are best to help biodiversity. Prescribed burning is important to maintaining these habitats for threatened and endangered plants and animals such as the Gopher Tortoise.

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:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.