Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.05
Liaison Kimberly Reeves
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Robert McGann
Outdoor Services Department Supervisor
Facilities Services
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Some areas of the campus have been identified as archaeologically-sensitive and are preserved from future development. The bluff is a geological amenity with native vegetation. Much of this bluff is protected from development with commitments from LEED building projects. With each new LEED building, UCCS designates either the footprint of the building or double that to be conserved from any future development.


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:

In the book, Discovering Place: a UCCS field guide*, pgs 127-136 lists the wildlife on campus; this chapter was compiled and written by Dr. Jeremy Bono, Associate Professor, MSc Program Advisor, UCCS Biology Department.
This list includes:
- Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)
- Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
- Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
- Mountain lion (Puma concolor)
- Black bear (Ursus americanus)
- Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
- Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus)
- Eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)
- Western prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)
- Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)
- Yucca moth (genus Tegiticula)
- Ants (genus Polyergus)
- Western or European honeybee (Apis mellifera)

All of the above species are labeled under 'least concern'.

*Huber, T. P., & Huber, C. J. (2014). Discovering place: A UCCS field guide. Colorado Springs, CO, CO: University of Colorado Colorado Springs.


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:

Several sites on campus have been identified as having unique potential or known anthropological or ecological resources. These are protected through the university's Master Plans.


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

UCCS contracted an environmental consulting firm to conduct an ecological site assessment as part of the 2012 Master Plan, in which it was identified that the natural setting of Colorado Springs, including its native landscape and views, contribute to the university’s unique sense of place. The plan evaluated the climate, topography, slope, geology, soils, hydrology, vegetation, and cultural resources and is designed to respect natural resources and minimizing water use for irrigation and managing stormwater on site. There are areas of native grasses and scrub oak that have been identified for protection.
In 2014, UCCS utilized the 2012 Master Plan and the 2009 Heller Center Master Plan to guide the UCCS Recreational Trails Micro-Master Plan. It provides a strategy for implementing a trail system that is both a recreational amenity and an alternative experience for getting around campus. The trails and maintenance seek to protect the natural environment by minimizing impacts to the local fauna, flora, and soils while providing a robust trail system.


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

The plan evaluated the climate, topography, slope, geology, soils, hydrology, vegetation, and cultural resources and is designed to respect natural resources and minimizing water use for irrigation and managing stormwater on site.


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

In the 2012 Master Plan, UCCS recognizes that much of it is constrained by topography, slope, geology, hydrology, and cultural significance. While these areas will not become part of the university’s built infrastructure, they are a vital and contributing part of the campus, providing the character and sense of place that distinguish UCCS from other institutions in the state and country.

Several faculty on campus in Geography and Environmental Studies have contributed to identification and protection plans that are in the UCCS 2012 Master Plan.


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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