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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 74.63
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date July 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stanford University
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
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 any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

San Francisquito Creek, including the Stanford portions of Los Trancos, Bear, and Corte Madera creeks, are designated as “Critical Habitat” for the local, federally protected, steelhead. The serpentine grasslands present at Jasper Ridge are “Critical Habitat” for the Bay checkerspot butterfly. There is a permanent 30-acre conservation easement in the lower foothills, which was designated in order to help preserve the California tiger salamander (there is also another 285 acres in the lower foothills designated “no build” for 50 years, also to help protect the tiger salamander). In summer of 2014, 90 acres of creek and riparian vegetation will be permanently set-aside in order to help protect the federally protected California red-legged frog.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable 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 methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Scientists from the University have been studying the local flora and fauna since the founding of the University. The more than 100-years of work has resulted in a fantastic baseline database on the species and biological communities present in the area. Since the early 1990s, this baseline information has been expanded by targeted work specifically looking into species and communities considered to be at risk.


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

Nearly 700 species of native plants, 20 species of reptiles and and amphibians, and 50 species of mammals have been recorded from Stanford lands. Additionally, more than 180 species of birds are observed on University lands with some regularity. Included in this diversity are many species accorded some level of either local, state, or federal protection. Three terrestrial species with federal protection are California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and Bay checkerspot butterfly. The local form of steelhead is also federally protected.

At a community-level, the wetlands, the serpentine grasslands, and the oak woodlands are all considered environmentally sensitive.


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

Since the 1990s, the university has engaged in campus-wide conservation planning. The culmination of this effort came in the summer of 2013 when Stanford implemented a Habitat Conservation Plan, including approximately 3,500 acres of Stanford land (the plan for the remainder of the university’s land was approved at the same time, but has been put on hold pending the outcome of the major environmental planning effort concerning Searsville Reservoir).

Additionally, Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve contains more than 1,000 acres of land set aside to support biological research. The management of this academic facility supports the preservation of local biodiversity while acting as a living laboratory for students and faculty. More information about Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is available at http://jrbp.stanford.edu/.


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.