Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.40
Liaison Daniela Beall
Submission Date March 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Daniela Beall
Sustainability Coordinator
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 institution’s natural areas totaling 1432.05 acres are all legally protected by Administrative Code UWS 18.06 Protection of Resources and priority sites for biodiversity conservation.

Cofrin Memorial Arboretum (290 acres), protected by UWS 18.06
The Cofrin Memorial Arboretum forms a natural boundary of 290 acres encircling the UW Green Bay main campus and providing valuable habitat and ecosystem services as well as access for research, field trips, wildlife viewing and recreation. Forests, including hardwood swamp, northern mesic forest, and oak savanna; moist cliff, prairie, ponds, and creeks represent some of the major natural communities thriving in the Arboretum. The purpose of the Arboretum is to restore and preserve some of Wisconsin's native ecological communities and to provide a place where people can enjoy and appreciate nature. Emphasis is placed on the protection, enrichment, and development of native Wisconsin plant communities and areas of special ecological significance.

The Arboretum contains globally important resources including Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment is a bedrock feature composed mostly of Silurian dolomite (strictly speaking, it’s the steep, exposed side of a gently sloping bedrock ridge or “cuesta”) that stretches from Lake Champlain in the northeastern United States westward across the Great Lakes to Wisconsin. Here the Escarpment is exposed from the islands off of the northern tip of the Door Peninsula southwest for over 150 miles into southeastern Wisconsin where it disappears beneath glacial deposits. The Escarpment supports many rare species, most notably a group of globally rare snails, the oldest trees known in Wisconsin, karst topography, and contains important hibernacula for bats. It has value for migratory birds and bats by providing updrafts and generally north-south ‘leading line’. Rare or otherwise important natural communities and habitats associated with the Escarpment include dripping cliffs, dry cliffs, talus slopes, unusual conifer forests that contain the state’s oldest trees (WDNR 2008).

Point au Sable Natural Area (181.83 acres), protected by UWS 18.06. 122.56 acres are legally protected by deed restrictions enacted during transfer from The Nature Conservancy and 59.27 acres are legally protected by deed restrictions enacted during purchase with the use of Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds.

Point au Sable is located on a prominent peninsula along the east shore of Lower Green Bay. It is one of the few unmodified estuarine wetlands in the entire Lake Michigan ecosystem. Each spring and fall, thousands of migratory waterfowl, gulls, terns, shorebirds, and passerines pass through Point au Sable on their way south. Recent studies have documented over 200 bird species on or near Point au Sable during a single year. Point au Sable wetlands are important nursery areas for fish.

Kingfisher Farm Natural Area & Field Station (59.22), protected by UWS 18.06 and deed restriction of donor’s wishes for the land “to be used for educational and research purposes by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The University would be required to maintain the Farm in the same open and undeveloped state…”

The Kingfisher Farm Natural Area consists of 59.22 acres of forest, grassland, shoreline, and riparian habitat along Lake Michigan.

Peninsula Sanctuary Natural Area (158), protected by UWS 18.06 and deed restriction of donor wishes.

Toft Point Natural Area (743 acres). protected by UWS 18.06, WI State Statute 23.28 State natural areas, and deed restriction on parcels transferred to UWGB by The Nature Conservancy.Toft Point State Natural Area is designated by the National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark. Toft Point is also part of a complex of coastal wetlands that were designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Significance in 2009. These are both important designations for this natural area.


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:

Common Name
Scientific Name
Type
State Status
Federal Status

1. Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
Bombus affinis
insect
special concern
endangered
2. Yellow-banded Bumble Bee
Bombus terricola
insect
special concern
special concern
3. Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle
Cicindela hirticollis
insect
endangered
-
4. Cherrystone Drop
Hendersonia occulta
land snail
threatened
-
5. River Redhorse
Moxostoma carinatum
fish
threatened
-
6. American Black Duck
Anas rubripes
bird
special concern
-
7. Great Egret
Ardea alba
bird
threatened
-
8. American Bittern
Botaurus lentiginosus
bird
special concern
-
9. Least Bittern
Ixobrychus exilis
bird
special concern
-
10. Black-crowned Night-Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax
bird
special concern
-
11. Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
bird
endangered
special concern
12. Forster’s Tern
Sterna forsteri
bird
endangered
-
13. Caspian Tern
Hydroprogne caspia
bird
endangered
-
14. Black Tern
Chlidonias niger
bird
endangered
special concern
15. American Woodcock
Scolopax minor
bird
special concern
-
16. Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus
bird
endangered
-
17. Red-headed Woodpecker
Melanerpes erythrocephalus
bird
special concern
-
18. Purple Martin
Progne subis
bird
special concern
-
19. Eastern Meadowlark
Sturnella magna
bird
special concern
-
20. Little Brown Bat
Myotis lucifugus
mammal
threatened
-
21. Northern Long-eared Bat
Myotis septentrionalis
mammal
threatened
threatened
22. Big Brown Bat
Eptesicus fuscus
mammal
threatened
-
23. Tricolored Bat
Perimyotis subflavus
mammal
threatened
-
24. Silver-haired Bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans
mammal
special concern
-
25. Dwarf lake iris
Iris lacustris
Plant
threatened
endangered
26. Hines emerald dragonfly
Somatachlora hineana
insect
endangered
endangered





27. Swainson’s Thrush
Catharus ustulatus
Bird
Special concern
-
28. Common Nighthawk
Chordeiles minor
Bird
Special concern
-
29. Olive-sided Flycatcher
Contopus cooperi
Bird
Special concern
-
30. Least Flycatcher
Empidonax minimus
Bird
Special concern
-
31. Rusty Blackbird
Euphagus carolinus
Bird
Special concern
-
32. Connecticut Warbler
Oporornis agilis
Bird
Special concern
-
33. Red-necked Grebe
Podiceps grisegena
Bird
Endangered
-
34. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Regulus calendula
Bird
Special concern
-
35. Golden-winged Warbler
Vermivora chrysoptera
Bird
Special concern
Species of Concern
36. Northern leopard frog
Lithobates pipiens
Amphibian
-
Species of Concern





37. Low calamint
Clinopodium arkansanum
Plant
Special concern
-
38. Northern yellow lady's-slipper
Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin
Plant
Special concern
-
39. Pale purple coneflower
Echinacea pallida
Plant
Threatened
-
40. Chinquapin oak
Quercus muehlenbergii
Plant
Special concern
-


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:

Long-term protection and management of UW-Green Bay’s 6 natural areas has not surprisingly promoted biodiversity and provided critical habitat for many wildlife. Point au Sable and the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, which consist of wetlands, Great Lakes beaches, and forests, are without a doubt critically important for migratory and breeding birds and support over 200 species of bird throughout the year. During spring migration, for example, it is a common sight to view hundreds of small Neotropical migratory birds, such as warblers and vireos, foraging in the tree canopy at Point au Sable. The shorelines of Point au Sable and the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum are arguably some of the most frequented waters for many species of ducks, swans, geese, and other waterbirds during migration. Point au Sable is one of only two migratory shorebird hotspots in lower Green Bay and also supports a large diversity of migratory and resident bats and anurans. In 2018 Point au Sable was identified as an aquatic plant biodiversity hotspot, which provides critical fish habitat and food for migratory waterfowl. Surveys conducted by UW-Green Bay faculty and students and the WI Department of Natural Resources within the last decade identified Wequiock Creek as a fish biodiversity hotspot and provides important nursery habitat for yellow perch. In northern Door County, Toft Point consists of northern mesic forest, coastal wetlands, relict boreal forest dominated by balsam fir and white spruce, and limestone cobble beach, which support a rich diversity of plants, birds, anurans, and invertebrates. It was recently listed as part of the Door Peninsula Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance designation. Like other UW-Green Bay natural areas, Toft Point supports >180 species of bird, including Neotropical migrants and a suite of breeding forest and marsh species. Wequiock Creek Natural Area already provides important stopover habitat for a variety of migratory birds in its riparian forest but will soon become an important breeding area for birds that prefer oak savanna (e.g., Red-headed Woodpecker, American Woodcock) once prairie seeds that were planted in fall of 2021 grow and thrive.


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

Cofrin Center students and staff monitor and identify threatened, endangered, and vulnerable species through surveys of birds, anurans, pollinators, plants, and mammals both through their research programs and UW-Green Bay classes. All natural areas are managed with the primary goal of preserving and promoting biodiversity. Scientists associated with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity are actively engaged in research programs and regularly publish their research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. They also teach a wide variety of hands-on environmental science and biology courses, including travel courses to Panama, Costa Rica, and Australia.


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

Cofrin Center for Biodiversity staff and students regularly conduct monitoring and assessments at all 6 natural areas, primarily through Cofrin Student Research Grants, Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, UW-Sea Grant-funded piscivorous birds project, and UW-Green Bay classes. Out of the 6 natural areas UW-Green Bay owns, Point au Sable, Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, and Toft Point are the most frequently monitored.


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

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity supports several ongoing research projects in Wisconsin, including the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program (https://www.greatlakeswetlands.org/), which has taken place for over a decade, and the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot near Crandon, WI, originally started in 2007. Every year since 1989, UW-Green Bay students conduct research on our 6 natural areas in northeastern Wisconsin as part of the Cofrin Student Research Grant program. Within the last few years, students have been studying bats, frogs, muskrats, gastropods, fungi, birds, butterflies, and plants on our natural areas. Other recent Cofrin Center research projects in Wisconsin include surveys of native bees, piscivorous birds in lower Green Bay, Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern flora and fauna (e.g., plant community mapping, plant biodiversity hotspot surveys, odonate, bat, anuran, and bird surveys), and plants at the Keith White Prairie. The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity also led an effort to develop a habitat conservation strategy for the lower Green Bay east shore watershed plan, which includes 3 of our natural areas, and manages a Peregrine Falcon nest box on the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Library in collaboration with Facilities Management and CIT.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
100

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.