Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.57
Liaison Cindy Shea
Submission Date Dec. 23, 2020

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Damon Waitt
Director
NC Botanical Garden
"---" 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:

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 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:

Four-toed salamander (hemidactylium scutatum), a state-listed species
Sweet pinesap (monotropsis odorata), state-listed species
Large witch-alder (fothergilla major), state-listed species
Cooper's hawk (accipiter cooperii), species of special concern
Red-shouldered hawk (buteo lineatus), regionally rare species
Red-backed salamander (plethodon cinereus), regionally rare
Sumo mite (allothrombium sp.), regionally rare
Land snail (mesomphix sp), regionally rare


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:

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.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance 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 the scope of the assessment(s):

The Carolina North Property was assessed by the consultants hired by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is regularly monitored by the Triangle Land Conservancy.

The Mason Farm Biological Reserve and other properties owned and managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) were extensively inventoried by the Orange County Environment & Resource Conservation Department and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. The NCBG employs conservation biologists who manages these properties. Academic research is also conducted on these lands.


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

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.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
---

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.