Ecological Landscape and Biodiversity

 

Ecosystems play a vital role in providing a range of services in terms of supporting soil formation, providing fresh water and habitat, regulating climate, and providing education and recreational value. Biodiversity is also a fundamental part of a well-functioning ecosystem. In support of the UBC Okanagan Campus Plan (2015) intent to sustain and enhance local landscape and ecology, the Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan outlines a vision for providing an ecologically rich and diverse campus environment and will provide additional cultural, aesthetic, and recreational value to the broader community.

Ecological Assessment

The 2014 Ecological Analysis is a comprehensive review of ecological units, wildlife presence, and the occurrence of species at risk (endangered and threatened species) within the campus. It divided the campus into seven polygons representative of distinct habitat types and value for biodiversity (coniferous woodland grassland etc.). The Ecological Analysis also recommended general strategies for restoring and enhancing ecological values.

The 2021 update Figure 2 – Ecosystem Polygons – ESA Full Campus presently provides a map illustrating ecosystem polygons and their environmental sensitivity. This Map is intended to inform assessment of site conditions and ecological status for each development project as well as future campus planning and development, with necessary follow up studies as appropriate.

Species at Risk

Species at risk are defined as plants, animals, and ecological communities that are of conservation concern because of rarity, restricted range, and/or population decline. Most occur in natural ecosystems. Approximately 52 species at risk may occur on the UBC Okanagan Campus including 11 plants, 14 birds, and 12 invertebrates. Noteworthy species include the Great Basin spadefoot toad, western painted turtle, American avocet, and California gull.

 

Below is an inventory of reports commissioned by the Sustainability Office, Campus Planning to guide the campus’ best management practices for habitat and species protection:

Below are key reports prepared by our academic subject matter experts to support ecological and species planning on campus: