Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.75
Liaison Cindy Shea
Submission Date July 24, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mark Moon
Grounds 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, and/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:

Following a comprehensive environmental assessment of the 947-acre tract known as Carolina North, 258 acres were designated as conservation areas that would be protected by a third party.

The Mason Farm Biological Reserve (MFBR) is also protected. The Reserve and contiguous undeveloped tracts create an approximately 900-acre natural area that connects with the 41,000-acre New Hope Game Lands to the south.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas (including most recent year assessed) and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

An ecological assessment of the Carolina North property was performed in 2007 using an ecologic analysis metric methodology, along with GIS, site visits, and data collection. Ongoing annual monitoring of the Conservation Areas is done by the Triangle Land Conservancy.

The Mason Farm Biological Reserve is managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden, which is part of UNC Chapel Hill.


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

There are three designated Conservation areas at Carolina North, totaling 258 acres. They are forested, and are composed primarily of riparian areas and areas with steep slopes.

The Mason Farm Biological Reserve is 367 acres and contains a combination of forests and old fields that support approximately 800 species of plants, 216 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 28 species of fish, 28 species of reptiles, 23 species of amphibians, and 67 species of butterflies. More different species of animals have been recorded at the Reserve than in any other comparably-sized area in the entire Piedmont.


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

A Land Stewardship policy was enacted in 2013, describing management strategies for the Conservation Areas at Carolina North and other limited development areas of the tract.

Grounds Services employs best management practices to protect and create wildlife habitat:
1. “Snags” are left standing unless they are an immediate threat to Forest visitors or in high-traffic areas.
2. When disturbed areas require cover crops, seed mixes are chosen that encourage grazing, cover, or nesting.
3. A lot of invasive plant removal is accomplished through person-labor and mechanical means. Debris piles are left in situ to encourage nesting and cover.

Access to the Mason Farm Biological Reserve is by permit only.

In the developed parts of campus, the landscape design includes canopy trees which create wildlife habitat. As part of the tree removal program, safe dead trees are left in place to support insects, birds, and a diversity of life forms.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.