Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Wildlife Conservation
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Scientific report.  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   60%
Supplementary Assessment Scientific report.  40%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an awareness of the concepts and under-pinning scientific ecological principles required for species conservation.

2. Appraise the approaches to species conservation, land designations and landscape and marine protection measures.

3. Identify the key issues concerning species genetic diversity, population genetics, population dynamics and species conservation.

4. Assess the range of conservation initiatives, issues and techniques involved in protecting and re-establishing endangered flora and fauna in terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

Brief description

This module provides students with the range of background scientific knowledge and ecological concepts that need to be applied to the conservation of endangered flora and fauna in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The module is designed to allow the student to critically evaluate the need for species conservation and the information and methods that need to be applied to species conservation, including the concepts of genetic diversity, population genetics, extinction and rarity, population dynamics, species habitat requirements, introduction/reintroduction, metapopulations, invasive species etc. It will also cover the administrative framework and initiatives for conservation internationally, in Europe and the UK.


Introduction to the concept of species conservation. Subjects to be covered include the importance of conservation, current threats to global biodiversity(habitat destruction/fragmentation/degradation, overexploitation, global climate change, invasive species, international trade in endangered species), valuing biodiversity - Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, methods used to measure biodiversity, general aspects of conservation biology - issues of rarity, extinction, vulnerability, habitat specificity.
International, European and UK species conservation initiatives and obligations are considered, with an outline of land designations and landscape protection measures in the UK, marine conservation (covering: pollution and threats to coastal environments, the marine bill, and the conservation of UK fisheries and marine resources etc.) and freshwater conservation.
Techniques used in species conservation are introduced with the application of population dynamics and genetics to conservation. Firstly, population dynamics, population structure and metapopulations will be discussed, followed by an in-depth study of genetic diversity, genetic consequences of rarity, inbreeding and the molecular techniques commonly used by conservation geneticists.
The module concludes with an outline of conservation methods including in situ and ex-situ conservation programmes, introduction and reintroductions, and restoration ecology. In each case, outlining the methods underlying principles and role in wider conservation efforts, with the use of selected and contrasting examples.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Undertake population modeling in the assignment.
Communication Read in different contexts and for different purposes. Write for different purposes and audiences.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines.
Information Technology Present information and data. Accessing the web for information sources and using databases to find primary literature.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will gain confidence in their ability to evaluate conservation problems and objectively assess the quality of proposed solutions.
Problem solving Identify factors which might influence potential solutions for conservation. Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions. As part of the assignment problem-solving frequently encountered by conservation biologists will be undertaken.
Research skills Students will research topics beyond the depth and scope of the lecture material using independent study and produce academically appropriate reports.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to conservation biology will be developed.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6