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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 Gold
Overall Score 68.01
Liaison Andrew Predmore
Submission Date March 2, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana University Bloomington
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Andrew Predmore
Associate Director of Sustainability
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?:
No

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
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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 natural community survey consisted of a native and exotic vegetation survey and habitat assessment of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. A field investigation was conducted to map the ecological communities, to inventory native and exotic vegetation, and to identify plant species listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Rare (ETR) by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Small, snap-back mousetraps and pitfall traps were used to sample the small mammals at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. In order to document communities present within each distinct habitat, traps were set near the dry edge of the property where it abutted old field (grassy and/or weedy), within forested areas, and in marshy areas close to the lake. Specifically, traps were set in 33 mousetrap lines, each of which contained 100 traps per line, and in 8 pitfall lines, which contained 10 sunken cans (1000 ml beakers) per line. These traps were sunk to ground level usually under logs and in the runways of small mammals. No attempt was made to trap the larger animals at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. Rather, documentation of these species was made by observation on site and the presence of tracks, dens, markings, scat, and road kill.

Mist-netting for bats was conducted at four sites on the property. Each site was netted for one night with two nets deployed per site. Nets were draped across the flyway between the vegetation at each side and extended up to the canopy above. The nets were on a pulley system so that they could be raised and lowered as necessary to retrieve bats. Nets were erected before sunset and in place for 3 hours. Bat detectors were used in addition to the nets to monitor the bat activity in the vicinity of the nets. Data on species, sex, age, reproductive condition, right forearm length, and weight were collected for each captured individual.

Using the Breeding Bird Atlas protocol (IDNR, 2007), surveyors meandered the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve to document bird species. Once birds were identified by site or call, notation of bird’s activity at the time of observation was made, if possible. Surveys were completed throughout the seasons.

Amphibian and reptile survey methods fall into five categories: visual searches, drift fence traps, turtle traps, aquatic dip net samples, and minnow traps.


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

Sensitive Habitat Areas include slopes of greater than 30%, Emergent Marsh, Floodplain Forest (Wet, Wet-Mesic, and Mesic), and Dry-Mesic Upland Forest.

Species of Conservation Concern: Global (showing global population declines)
Cerulean Warbler (breeder)

Species of Conservation Concern: Continental (showing continental population declines)
Solitary Sandpiper (migrant)
Red-headed Woodpecker (breeder)
Wood Thrush (breeder)
Blue-winged Warbler (likely breeder in nearby area)
Prairie Warbler (breeder - in adjacent area)
Prothonotary Warbler (likely breeder)
Worm-eating Warbler (breeder)
Louisiana Waterthrush (breeder)
Kentucky Warbler (breeder)

Species of Conservation Concern: Regional (showing regional population declines):
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (likely breeder)
Chimney Swift (likely nearby breeder)
Northern Flicker (likely breeder)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (likely breeder)
Eastern Kingbird (breeder)
White-eyed Vireo (likely breeder)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (breeder)
Eastern Towhee (likely breeder)
Field Sparrow (likely nearby breeder)
Orchard Oriole (likely breeder)

ETR species identified during survey
Sharp-shinned Hawk*
Great Blue Heron*
Red-shouldered Hawk*
Cerulean Warbler*
Black-throated Green Warbler*
Worm-eating Warbler*
Black-and-white Warbler*
Hooded Warbler*

Species of Special Concern: Eastern box turtle
State Endangered: Four-toed salamander


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

A series of action items and capital & operational expenditures is recommended to occur at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve from 2009 to 2019.

1. Conduct surveys every 3-5 years to monitor specific ETR and Watch List species to
ensure that the populations are not decreasing.
2. Preserve areas with ETR and Watch List species in their current successional stage.
3. Limit development and avoid use of areas classified as sensitive habitat areas. These
include: slopes of 30% or greater; high quality communities including wetlands, wet,
mesic, and dry forests; and areas containing large trees.
4. Control exotic, invasive species using the best-possible method, typically herbicide based treatments.


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