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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Ex-Situ Wildlife Management (BIME11030)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will look at the management of wildlife species outside of their natural habitat, typically within zoological collections. It will describe the many reasons or ex-situ management and the basic strategy for establishing and maintaining healthy and sustainable populations.
Course description With the continued decline in biodiversity and the number of threatened species increasing, there is the need to employ a range of conservation strategies. Where habitat degradation, fragmentation and loss pose a significant threat to species survival, one option is to move individuals from the population in its natural habitat to a secure location for management and breeding i.e. for ex situ management for the purpose of conservation.

Weekly lecture materials will encourage the student to consider what ex situ conservation is, to consider the various technical limitations and ethical implications, and to assess how it might contribute to wider conservation goals. There is particular emphasis on the goal of reintroduction and an opportunity to assess how realistic an expectation this is for current ex situ breeding activities.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Course Start Date 17/09/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 53 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formal summative written assessment will constitute 60% of the student's grade. Online assessment will incorporate a variety of activities will constitute 40% of their overall course grade and is taken to represent a formative assessment of learning throughout the programme.
Feedback Summative assessment consists of a written element, worth 60% of the total mark, and an online element worth 40%. In both cases, comprehensive written feedback is provided individually with 15 working days of the assessment deadline. Students are expected to reflect on their feedback, to seek additional clarification if appropriate, and to use this to improve on future assignments of a similar nature.
Formative assessment consists of discussion around what is expected of each piece of assessed work for the course. This is conducted in an open discussion forum for all students to contribute to and provides an opportunity to clearly understand the key requirements for each assignment before submission. Any student can post questions about the assignment and a response will be posted on the discussion board by the course tutor within 3 working days.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the arguments for creating and maintaining populations of wild species outside of their natural habitat.
  2. Reflect on the ethical considerations surrounding the establishment of ex-situ populations.
  3. Critically review the underlying genetic considerations for long-term population viability.
  4. Describe the major limiting factors on successful ex-situ population management.
  5. Give examples of where ex-situ population management has had a positive impact on conservation of the species.
Reading List
There are a number of organisations/groups which we will refer to often during this course, including:
1 International Union for Conservation of Nature - Species Survival Commission (SSC)
2 International Union for Conservation of Nature - Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of SSC
3 International Union for Conservation of Nature - Reintroduction Specialist Group (RSG) of SSC
There are also many journals we will draw on during the course, for example:
4Conservation Biology
5 Zoo Biology
6 International Zoo Yearbook (Zoological Society of London)
7 Zooquaria (Quarterly journal of EAZA)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study materials provided in this course will enhance the student┐s abilities to search for, read and understand the relevant scientific literature, to use this to support specific arguments and to present the findings in a coherent and appropriate way. They will also develop skills in ICT through the use of an online learning platform, online search engines and word-processing and presentation packages. Online discussion with tutors and peers will develop confidence in communicating with others and the skills to engage in high level academic discourse. The independent study aspect of the course will enhance the student┐s abilities in time-management and self-motivation.

KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Robert Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3508
Course secretaryMs Lisa Kilcullen
Tel: (0131 6)51 4075
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