Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter
"---" 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:

Our property is 2,000 acres of mostly oak-hickory forest owned and protected by Washington University in St. Louis. Our property is surrounded by three county parks and another non-profit to add an additional 4,000 acres of protected area. We also own 100 acres of protected land that is within a larger area of protected property owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation.


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:

We have ecological researchers working in our forest and prairies collecting data on the biodiversity within our property. We also have a resident naturalist who monitors our habitats and maintains a list of species found on site.

Although we have not conducted a formal assessment for endangered and vulnerable species, we have researchers constantly identifying and tagging species for research purposes every year. This work includes forest tree tagging, plant surveys, invertebrate surveys, and aquatic habitats biodiversity assessments. In addition, our resident naturalist informally monitors bird species presence and keeps track of spring ephemeral plant species for phenology monitoring.


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

The Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) is listed as a species of conservation concern in Missouri and resides on our property. In addition, our annex property rests within the La Barque Creek Watershed, which is listed as a “Conservation Opportunity Area” by the Missouri Department of Conservation. It is a biologically important watershed with little development and high number of fish species for being within a large suburban area.

The annex is also home to sandstone and limestone glades which support a variety of unique plant and animal species.


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

Currently, we are partnering with The Nature Conservancy to restore a degraded streambank located on our annex property. This project will stabilize an eroding stream bank on La Barque Creek to minimize sediment washing downstream after heavy rains. We have plans to formally start a species monitoring program and will continue to catalog all of the species found on our site.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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