Module Identifier RS36120  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Graham P Harris  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr John M Warren  
Pre-Requisite RS22020 or appropriate equivalent IBS/IGES module  
Course delivery Lecture   40 Hours 20 x 2 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   12 Hours 3 x 4 hours  
  Other   4 Hours 1 x 4 hour visit  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours Written examination Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  50%
Semester Assessment Assignment Outcomes assessed: 1, 3, 6, 7  50%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours Written examination Students will be re-assessed in the element(s) of assessment that led to failing the module50%
Supplementary Assessment Assignment  50%

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify the key issues concerning species genetic diversity, population genetics and species conservation.
2. Explain the concepts of extinction and rarity, population dynamics and metapopulations.
3. Demonstrate the importance of under-pinning scientific and ecological knowledge in the successful implementation of introduction / reintroduction programmes and habitat creation for species conservation.
4. Evaluate the impact of invasive species on endangered species.
5. Appraise the approaches to species conservation.
6. Assess the effectiveness of the legal system in protecting flora and fauna.
7. Recognise the problems and opportunities in the re-establishment of endangered flora and fauna by drawing on a range of species conservation case histories/studies.
8. Create a species conservation plan based on scientific principles, ecological concepts and research.


This module aims to provide students with the range of background scientific knowledge and ecological concepts that need to be applied to the conservation of endangered floral and faunal species. 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 and habitat creation.   Aspects of the legal system that specifically aim to protect flora and fauna will be identified. The practical ability to formulate species conservation plans from first principles will be developed by critical review of current species conservation action plans and programmes for target species, and the integration of ecological principles and practical knowledge of species population dynamics and genetics

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
   The assignment will develop the students? ability to work independently, integrating scientific, ecological, and practical conservation knowledge to critically evaluate existing species conservation programmes and formulate a species action plan. A report will be prepared that justifies the criticism of existing programmes and the creation of modified action plans with reference to published scientific, ecological, and practical conservation knowledge.
.2 IT and information handling
   Extensive use of internet sources will be needed to compile information on target species.

.3 Use and analysis of numerical information
   Analysis of the scientific literature under-pinning species conservation programmes will require the student to handle and interpret numerical information and evaluate the statistical analysis of that data.

.4 Writing in an academic context
   The assignment will require the production of a report on a target species, developing the students? skill in academic writing and the justification of critical analysis of existing species conservation programmes and proposals for modified species action plans.

.5 Oral discussion and presentation
   Skills in oral presentation and discussion will be developed through a series of informal seminars on target species conservation programmes prior to assignment submission.

.6 Careers need awareness
   The outcomes of the module are designed to provide the skills and awareness of the scientific principles and knowledge required by ecologists to develop practical and achievable species conservation programmes.

Reading Lists

Begon, M et al (1996) Population ecology: a unified study of animals and plantsl Blackwell Science
Bowles, M L and Whelan, C J (eds) (1994) Restoration of endangered species: conceptual issues, planning and implementation Cambridge University press
English Nature (1994) Species conservation handbook (1994 onwards) English Nature
Hanski, I A and Gilpin, M E (eds) (1997) Metapopulation biology: ecology, genetics and evolution Academic Press
Meffe, G K and Carroll, C R (1997) principles of conservation biology Sinauer Associates Inc
Peck, S (1999) Planning for biodiversity: issues and examples Island Press
UK Biodiversity Group (1998) Tranche 2 Action Plans: Vol 1 Vertebrates and Vascular Plants; Vol 3 Plants and Fungi; Vol 4 Invertebrates English Nature

Biodiversity and Conservation
Biological Conservation
British Wildlife
Conservation Biology
Environmental conservation
Journal of applied ecology
Restoration ecology


This module is at CQFW Level 6