Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.20
Liaison Juanita Van Norman
Submission Date Aug. 5, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Manitoba
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Christie Nairn
Director
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?:
Yes

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

The biodiversity assessment areas at UM campuses are situated within the Winnipeg Ecodistrict at the southeast boundary of the Lake Manitoba Plains Ecoregion within the Prairies Ecozone. The Winnipeg Ecodistrict falls within the native range of the tallgrass prairie that once dominated the landscape of the Red River basin.

Today, the landscape has been largely converted to agricultural land use. Native forests within the region are largely confined to riparian corridors where they form gallery forests occupying alluvial floodplain deposits as well as the more well-drained terraces above the floodplain. Throughout much of southern Manitoba, the conversion of land to agricultural land use has resulted in significant loss and degradation of riparian forest habitat. Numerous plant species identified within assessment areas are well-documented species of cultural importance for local indigenous peoples. UM is taking the necessary steps to conserve its riparian areas to conserve these biodiversity-rich landscapes.


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:

False Indigo (Amorpha Fruiticosa) has been found on University of Manitoba-owned land, at the Glenlea Research Station. False-Indigo is listed as S1/S2 by the Manitoba Conservation Data Centre.


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:

The Point Lands and South Wood Lands at the Fort Garry campus are both riparian areas identified as environmentally sensitive, with Green Ash noted as dominating the canopy.

Glenlea research station and the Ian N. Morrison Research farm are also identified to be environmentally sensitive with high levels of biodiversity and an identified species of concern (Amorpha Fruiticosa) present. Large populations of non-native species were observed at all sites.


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

An external consultant was hired by UM in 2017 to conduct the Biodiversity Baseline Study. The study consisted firstly of an analysis of prior biodiversity studies conducted in the areas of interest, then of a Formal Nested Quadrat Sample Plot and a Plant Data Collection Survey.

The purpose of the study was to document baseline conditions of biodiversity on UM owned lands, the ecological factors that influence the health of these lands, and document non-native and native species present. Additionally, the study aimed to contribute to recommendations for maintenance, naturalization, planting, and conservation efforts.

The information found in the survey has been imperative in recent engagement and management plans in recent years, the creation of a Native Revegetation Plan, Urban Forest Management Plan, and informed developments of the Eastern Transportation Corridor, Raven Medicine Cloud Project and riverbank stabilization.


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

The study includes four assessment areas, these are: (1) UM Fort Garry Campus –Point Lands, (2) UM Fort Garry Campus – Southwood Lands, (3) Glenlea Research Station, and (4) Ian N. Morrison Research Farm.

In each assessment area, surveys were conducted in order to assess the biodiversity of the forested areas, focusing on the habitats that they provide.


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

• Biodiversity Baseline Study and Assessment – the final report included several environmental protection measures for vegetation and soil that the UM is continually implementing on its campuses. Decaying and dead willow trees along the eastern transportation corridor area were removed from the Fort Garry campus to make room for new trees such as green ash, basswood, little-leaf linden, and amur maple trees. Other disease-ridden trees are continually being removed from the Fort Garry campus to protect other trees and improve the local ecology. (https://umanitoba.ca/sustainability/sites/sustainability/files/2020-11/UMbiodiversity-report_0.pdf)

From this assessment, the following plans were created:

• Urban Forest Management Plan – The forthcoming Urban Forest Management plan incorporates the campus tree assessment with long-term management and conservation plans for the UM canopy. This plan includes management plans for the riparian zone.

• Wildlife Management Plan – The Wildlife Management Plan was initiated to assist UM in providing a framework/strategy to manage its urban wildlife population, and to help to minimize and/or address the challenges (i.e. conflicts) occurring between people and wildlife on each of the two Campuses. (https://umanitoba.ca/campus/physical_plant/wildlife_plan.html)

• Native Revegetation Plan – The Native Revegetation Plan aims to help identify the appropriate species and maintenance required to increase biodiversity and decrease water and resource use to maintain UM landscapes.


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:

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.