Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.45
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Louisville
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Greg Schetler
Grounds Superintendent
Physical Plant
"---" 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:
The Horner Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary is a 210 acre wildlife habitat reserve owned by the University of Louisville in Oldham County near Crestwood, Kentucky (about 30 minutes from UofL's main Belknap Campus). It is located in the Interior Plateau Ecoregion. The site is a former farm that was abandoned about 55 years ago and has since been allowed to regenerate as eastern deciduous forest. Two permanent streams and two ponds occur on the property, and maples, oaks and hickories dominate the secondary growth forest. Horner is principally used for student research and serves as a reference site for scientific comparison with more urban woodlands and parks. The best-known public education project is the annual Horner Butterfly Count conducted by emeritus professor Charles Covell. Each year since 1976, roughly 50 people, including schoolchildren and senior citizens, have participated in surveys of butterfly populations at the site, building a long-term picture of changes in butterfly diversity. The results are reported to the North American Butterfly Association, which monitors the changes in butterfly populations throughout the continent. Apart from its use for biological research activities, the university maintains an astronomical observatory on the site, known as the Moore Observatory, which includes one permanent building, a small parking area, two small outbuildings, and a single principal access road (a gated gravel track). Site security is maintained via informal agreements with nearby landowners. The Horner Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations (KOFS), a network that supports and promotes understanding of natural systems through education, research, and outreach in Kentucky. Details: http://louisville.edu/biology/about-the-department/horner

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 July 2017, 14 volunteers counted 818 butterflies from 37 species adding to the 40-year total of more than 32,000 butterflies tabulated. In July 2015, volunteers recorded 1,495 individual butterflies and identified 48 species - the second highest diversity ever recorded during the annual census (the highest species count recorded at the site was 50). The results are reported to the North American Butterfly Association, which monitors the changes in butterfly populations throughout the continent.

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
No

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
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The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Every summer since 1976, roughly 50 volunteers, including schoolchildren and senior citizens, spend a day in July at the Horner Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounding lands participating in a national butterfly count. UofL Biology professor (emeritus) and Kentucky Academy of Science member (and Past President) Charles Covell and other butterfly specialists lead these volunteer citizen scientists in an annual local count for the national butterfly census. Participants are given basic training and paired with more experienced individuals. The intention is to document both the biodiversity and the total number of butterflies present in an ongoing monitoring process over the years. Endangered and vulnerable species are recorded with particular interest. This data is shared with the national butterfly census in an effort to monitor species health and distribution in the face of growing environmental threats, habitat loss, and climate change. http://uoflnews.com/section/science-and-tech/countdown-continues-join-in-the-annual-butterfly-tally/

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
The scope is limited to butterflies on the Horner Wildlife Refuge.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
The Horner Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations (KOFS), a network that supports and promotes understanding of natural systems through education, research, and outreach in Kentucky.

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