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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 Silver
Overall Score 51.71
Liaison Jeffrey Severin
Submission Date July 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kansas
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Delisle
Information Manager, KNHI
Kansas Biological Survery
"---" 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:

The University of Kansas Field Station, the biological field station of the University of Kansas, was established in 1947. The land—3400 acres in ten tracts—includes diverse habitats and specialized research facilities. The prairies, forests, wetlands, ponds, laboratories, gardens, and large-scale field studies on field station lands provide the platform for research and education programs.


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:

The Kansas Biological Survey has conducted assessments on properties owned or managed by the KU Field Station to identify rare plants and animals. Mead’s Milkweed and Western Prairie Fringed Orchid populations on the Rockefeller Prairie are surveyed regularly. Smooth Earthsnake populations at Baldwin Woods were last assessed in 2014. Plant monitoring is conducted annually at the Anderson County Prairie Preserve to assess the condition of the native prairie habitat. Bird surveys are conducted annually at the Anderson County Prairie Preserve with special focus on the Greater Prairie Chicken, a declining grassland bird.


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

Two properties, one owned by KU and the other owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by KU, contain the federally-protected Mead’s Milkweed (Asclepias meadii). One of these properties also contains the federally-protected Western Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara). These plants occur on native tallgrass prairie, an environmentally-sensitive habitat. KU also owns a tract of high-quality native Oak-hickory woodland which is home to the Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae), a state-protected snake species. Woodlands and prairies owned by KU contain several other plant species that are rare in the state of Kansas.


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

Sensitive habitats on properties owned and managed by the KU Field Station are managed for the protection of biodiversity and in particular for the protection of the rare plant and animal species that occur there.

The University has significant holdings of prairie and woodland acreage used for research. Native plants, especially Butterfly Milkweed and Marsh Milkweed, planted in the Student Raingarden, provide important food for Monarch butterfly larvae.

Wildlife is removed from campus only after posing a threat to humans or causing damage to buildings and/or infrastructure.


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.