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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 38.32
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Eastern Kentucky University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Patrick McKee
Sustainability Manager
Office of 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, 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:

Eastern Kentucky University owns and manages three distinct natural areas: Lilley Cornett Woods, Maywoods, and Taylor Fork Ecological Area.

Lilley Cornett Woods encompasses 554 acres of mixed mesophytic forest; of this, 254 acres have been designated as old-growth forest, and have not undergone any man made changes in the last 150 years. Lilley Cornett Woods is a preserve and is registered as a national landmark with the US Department of Interior. Due to its unique composition and marked abundance of biodiversity, Lilley Cornett Woods is often utilized as a site for ecological and environmental research.

Maywoods is a 1,700 acre natural area and preserve located approximately 22 miles southwest of EKU’s campus. Taylor Fork Ecological Area is a 60 acre site located adjacent to EKU’s campus that is primarily composed of old pastureland interspersed with small patches of woods and canebrakes. It is currently being managed for restoration to natural habitats.


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 primary methodology utilized was standardized monitoring dependent on species taxon. Acoustic monitoring was used to monitor amphibians, bats, and birds, while mist-netting was used for birds exclusively. In addition, Sherman traps and pitfalls traps were utilized for small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Visual encounter surveys were also used to identify the species present in each of the natural areas.


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

Lilley Cornett Woods:
- Sweet pinesap (Monotropis odoratra). Vulnerable.
- Nodding mandarin (Prosartes maculate). Vulnerable.
- Wehrle’s Salamander (Plethodon wehrlei). State listed as species of concern.
- Rafinesque Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii). State listed as species of concern.
- Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis). Federally endangered.
- Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis). Federally threatened.
- Kentucky State Nature Preserves designated high quality occurrences of the following plant communities: Appalachian mesophytic forest, Hemlock mixed forest, and Appalachian sub-xeric forest

Maywoods:
- Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis). Federally threatened.
- Wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis). Vulnerable.
- Tall Hairy Groovebur (Agrimonia gryposepala). Vulnerable.
- Coal Skink (Eumeces anthracinus). Vulnerable.

Taylor Fork also contains known hibernacula for bats.


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

Each of the aforementioned natural areas has a manager and assistant manager whose primary responsibility is to enforce protection and preservation of these areas and manage for maintenance of natural habitats. In addition, Taylor Fork Ecological Area, Maywoods, and Lilley Cornett Woods all have management programs in place in order to protect the vulnerable ecosystems present there.


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

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.