Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.
This module explores the management and conservation of species, habitats and landscapes at a variety of scales. Students will gain an understanding of key theoretical concepts important to conservation, including social aspects, and will apply these through fieldwork activities, laboratory practical sessions and interactive workshops. This interdisciplinary approach seeks to give students both conceptual knowledge and understanding, together with the skills needed to use techniques effectively and appropriately in practice to address real-world issues and problems. The module will be of interest to students wishing to increase their understanding of ecological management and conservation, as well as to practitioners seeking deeper and broader academic contexts to their work.
This module starts by considering how species interact with one another and their abiotic environment both spatially and temporally. Natural and anthropogenic threats to species and habitats, and the ways in which conservation can used to manage ecological and social resources more sustainably, are then discussed. Legislative and policy frameworks are considered, as are the economics of conservation initiatives and the concept of placing a financial value on nature. Case studies at a range of spatial scales (from global initiatives to national policies and local schemes) are investigated to critique management in different contexts. From a more practical perspective, applied conservation techniques, including ecological condition assessments, are introduced and applied in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. The concept and practicalities of restoration ecology are studied, with particular reference to species re-introduction schemes, community conservation and landscape-scale initiatives.
A student passing this module should be able to:
1. Explore advanced interrelationship between external and internal factors influencing the conservation of endangered species and habitats
2. Understand the differences between, and relative importance of, in-situ and ex-situ conservation schemes in general, and critique the most appropriate approach for case studies involving different species, habitats and landscapes
3. Appreciate the complexity of species-habitat interactions and their importance when devising appropriate management strategies
4. Critically evaluate how generic and specific factors influence the success, or otherwise, of conservation initiates
5. Bring theory and practice together to critique conservation management at a given case study site, and suggest alternative or future actions as appropriate
A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.
A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.
Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.
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