Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.16
Liaison Dr. Jill Wicknick
Submission Date Jan. 7, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Montevallo
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Susan Caplow
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Behavioral and Social Sciences
"---" 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 University of Montevallo's Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve on Spring Creek in Shelby County is 60 acres of wooded wetlands used for teaching and research. Located approximately six miles from the University, Spring Creek and Ebenezer Swamp form a portion of the headwaters for the ecologically diverse and environmentally sensitive Cahaba River Watershed. The diversity of the Cahaba River's fish population is greater than any other temperate river its size. Recognized as one of "Alabama's Ten Natural Wonders," the Cahaba is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama and has received attention from environmentalists throughout the nation." (Beverly Crider, http://blog.al.com/strange-alabama/2012/04/ebenezer_swamp_an_ecological_g.html)

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:
We have done a botany assessment, and identified one endangered grass species: Tennessee yellow-eyed grass.

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:
The forest is home to mostly Tupelo Gum, with the occasional Red Maple, Loblolly Pine, Sweet Bay, Tulip Tree and Sycamore. Animal inhabitants include the Beaver, American Woodcock, Turkey, Great Blue Heron, Timber Rattlesnake, Water Moccasin, Copperhead, Raccoon, Opossum, and various freshwater clams. The preserve is also home to numerous herbaceous plant species, including three species of orchids and a rare species of cone-flower. (from http://blog.al.com/strange-alabama/2012/04/ebenezer_swamp_an_ecological_g.html)

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Dr. Mike Hardig, UM's resident botanist, has conducted botanical surveys in Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
Dr. Hardig has conducted plant inventories as part of his field botany classes every couple of years.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
The area is protected by the University; the University Foundation took legal action in years past to block the digging of a limestone quarry which would have drawn water out of the swamp, negatively impacting all species in the Swamp. The Swamp is again threatened in 2022, this time by a housing development, and the University has hired a stormwater consultant to help us work with the developer to minimize impact on the swamp.

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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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