|Overall Rating||Silver - expired|
|Submission Date||Jan. 9, 2015|
Western Kentucky University
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions that own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to any of the following:
Institutions may identify legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and regions of conservation importance using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) for Research & Conservation Planning or an equivalent resource or study.
Director, Upper Green River Biological Preserve
Biology - Ogden College of Science and Engineering
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?:
A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:
The Green River Preserve is 1500 acres of land with seven miles of frontage on the Green River just up stream from Mammoth Cave National Park. The preserve is legally protected as a nature preserve that has state and federal protection easements attached. The Green River is one of the three most biodiverse rivers in the nation, and the preserve protects one of the two most biodiverse sites on the Green River. In fact, the preserve protects habitat where 12 different federally endangered species have been recorded. This ties Great Smoky Mountains National Park for number of endangered species making the Green River Preserve one of the richest sites for endangered species on the planet.
We have over 1000 pages of final management reports. We don't put these on the internet because of environmentally sensitive information. WKU also owns Crump Springs Cave which protects a colony of federally endangered Gray Bats. Furthermore, we have several other minor environmental areas. These include the Potter Nicely Outdoor Education Area, a farm on Barren River reservoir, and the McChesnee Campus on the Green River.
Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
The preserve has identified and developed management plans for environmentally sensitive areas. It is also involved in restoration of rare and endangered species and habitats.
We conduct periodic inventories of mussels (including endangered), rare plants, and migratory birds. Environmental DNA was recently used for Palaemonias ganteri (Kentucky Cave Shrimp). Bats have been monitored with Anabat. sewnsitive areas are visited every few months.
A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
We have nine federally endangered mussel species, two federally endangered bat species, and one federally endangered cave shrimp species.. The primary sensitive habitat is the seven miles of river frontage that we protect. We also protect remnant barrens and limestone flat rock glades.
A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
We have an endangered mussel rearing facility on site. In collaboration with MACA, USFWS, and Monte McGregor of KDFW several federally endangered mussel species have been released by the hundreds in to the Green River. We hope to keep the facility on site, and we hope to host additional releases in the future. We will continue to protect seven miles of river front in perpetuity. We have planted over 14,000 bottomland hardwoods in river bottom fields. It is our intention to continue purchasing, protecting, and restoring bottomland hardwoods in the Green River floodplain in the future.
We protect several caves and all appropriate trees for Indiana bats. We hope to purchase more of both in the future. We purchased 350 acres in 2013 alone. We are rearing and planting several uncommon species of plants including Helianthus eggertii and Silene regia. We hope to expand this work to include Trifoleum reflexum in the future.
The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:
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.