Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.15
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Kentucky University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Albert Meier
Director, Upper Green River Biological Preserve
Biology - Ogden College of Science and Engineering
"---" 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:

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 (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:

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 programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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