|Module Title||BIODIVERSITY OF BIRDS|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Ian M Scott|
|Course delivery||Lecture||30 x 1h lectures|
|Practical||3 x 2h practical sessions and 6 hours to be spent on local field surveys in groups.|
The orders of living birds will be reviewed within recent phylogenetic frameworks based on molecular, morphological and behavioural characters. The module adopts the latest taxonomic recommendations of the British Ornithologists¿ Union by separating the Palaeognathae (ratites and tinamous) from other living birds (Neognathae), which in turn can be subdivided into the Galloanserae (land- and water- fowl) and Neoaves (all other birds). Coverage of the Neoaves will assess recent phylogenetic endeavours to determine evolutionary clades within this group. Three lectures each will be devoted to groups sometimes known as the waterbird assemblage (from storks and pelicans to plovers and sandpipers), the near-passerines (from parrots and cuckoos to kingfishers and woodpeckers), and the passerines (the huge order of songbirds).
To complete the appreciation of global avian biodiversity, the final part of the lecture course will review the avifauna of the Earth¿s so-called zoogeographical regions. This global emphasis of the module reflects the fact that only 10% of known landbird species breed in our own region, the Palaearctic (Eurasia to the Himalayas and Africa to the Sahara). Lectures will therefore also be devoted to the Neotropical (South-Central America, where 36% of species breed), Afrotropical (21%), Indomalayan (18%), Australasian (17%) and Nearctic (North America, 8%) regions.
Practicals will focus on bird surveying skills, and assessments will involve preparation of local bird reports.
|Problem_solving||Problems will be set in systematics, species identification and field surveying.|
|Research skills||The collection and collation of material for reports.|
|Communication||Writing skills will be developed in the writing of reports.|
|Improving own Learning and Performance||Students will have to manage effectively information, data and time in order to satisfy the assessment demands.|
|Team work||The co-ordination of small groups for fieldwork.|
|Information Technology||The use of the internet to access data and to prepare reports. The use of subject specific software.|
|Application of Number||Numerical and statistical skills will be developed for surveying and systematics.|
|Personal Development and Career planning||The modules will develop subject-relevant vocational skills|
|Subject Specific Skills||Avian systematics Nature conservation|
This module is at CQFW Level 6