Conservation: Theory into Practice

This module provides you with the opportunity to apply ecological theory to conservation practise. Using a combination of lectures, practical classes and fieldwork, we will explore what is meant by evidence-based conservation and the importance of ecological measurements and surveys within this. It will be argued that human-nature relationships are key to understanding the complexities of conservation and one needs to utilise results from both the natural and social sciences.

The module will use a variety of current issues and case studies to illustrate key ecological concepts within the context of conservation. Topics will include habitat management and restoration, metapopulations and gradient theory, and species-based conservation, sampling and rewilding. You will be able to choose to focus on a conservation management plan or an ecological (taxa-focused) project using either field or secondary data sources for your main assessment.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of key ecological theories and apply them to conservation practice.
  • Identify key strategies used to design, protect and manage habitats.
  • Demonstrate competence in ecological measurement techniques and be able to apply them to project design or management evaluation.
  • Be able to identify and evaluate threats to biodiversity.
  • Understand how policy and legislation are used within conservation.
  • Be able to critically assess and choose appropriate management techniques for conservation of habitats and species.
  • Understand how human-nature relationships are critical for conservation.