|Submission Date||March 4, 2022|
Washington University in St. Louis
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?:
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. Our main property has a former limestone quarry cave which holds two endangered species.
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?:
A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis): federally endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1976
Gray Bat ((Myotis grisescens):federally endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1976
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus): species of conservation concern by Missouri Department of Conservation
Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
Our property has a former limestone quarry cave which is used by the federally endangered Indiana and Gray Bat during the spring, summer and fall.
The Wood Frog is listed as a species of conservation concern in Missouri and resides on our property. They breed in 10 small fishless ponds on our property each spring.
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.
The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Our resident staff ecologists regularly monitor vulnerable species and habitats with various strategies including, trail cameras, acoustic devices, plant surveys, amphibian population monitoring, and bird mist netting.
We have ecological researchers working in our forest and prairies collecting data on the biodiversity within our property as part of their research projects. This work includes forest tree tagging, plant surveys, invertebrate surveys, and aquatic habitats biodiversity assessments.
A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
All of the data collected by our staff and researchers is shared with our resident ecologists who provide management plans to maximize biodiversity and maintain a species list of our property.
Our resident ecologists work with local conservation agencies, such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation to create management plans and chose conservation targets for assessment.
A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
As soon as we identified the endangered bats using our quarry cave, we closed the cave to tours, classes and other non-research activities. We started a non-invasive monitoring protocol to understand their activity and use patterns. We plan on doing a larger bat species inventory throughout our entire property to identify other habitats and areas that are used by the Indiana and Gray bats.
Each spring we conduct amphibian surveys to count and map our Wood frog population on our property. We also monitor the ponds they used for breeding to make sure they are still holding water and remain without fish.
We have partnered with The Nature Conservancy to restore a degraded streambank located on our annex property. This project stabilized an eroding stream bank on La Barque Creek to minimize sediment washing downstream after heavy rains.
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:
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