AP3A91-Captive Animal Management

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Follows Part 2 exams, registration takes place Spring Term, Part 2. Please note this module has restricted places and preference will be given to BSc Animal Science students.
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Rebecca Meagher

Email: r.k.meagher@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module is a one week residential course in Jersey, and follows the Part 2 exams in June.  Registration takes place Spring Term, Part 2. Please note this module has restricted places (20) and preference will be given to BSc Animal Science students. Only pre-registered students that have paid their deposit should enrol on this module at module selection. 

Students are required to pay the accommodation and travel costs to Jersey (total expected costs approximately £550); a non-refundable £50 deposit is required on registration in Spring Term Part 2. Travel to Jersey is on the Saturday prior to the course starting, on Monday; the course completes on the Friday morning prior to travelling back to the mainland. 



(1) To provide some insight into the general running and maintenance of an exotic animal collection (2) To outline the biology and requirements of specific types of zoo animals and hence some of the factors involved in designing the enclosures for housing and showing them. (3) To provide an understanding of the larger roles that zoos play in conservation of fragile ecosystems and endangered species

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

• Describe and discuss the role zoos play in conservation

• Describe and critically evaluate the importance of understanding animal behaviour in captive animal management 

• Critically assess enclosure design/management/suitability for any given species and discuss how or whether enclosures could be improved.

Additional outcomes:

Due to the nature of the module, students will also gain experience of working in the field of zoos (collection management), captive breeding, and animal health issues. 


Outline content:

The module is designed to provide the students with various experiences related to running an exotic animal collection within the UK. The course will be run at the Durrell Conservation Academy, part of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust which is based at Jersey Zoo. 

The Lecture Contents cover:

• Animal Management

o How do we design an enclosure to meet the needs of the species, the keepers and the public?

o Zoo evolution – How has the welfare of animals and their conservation importance changed over time?

o How do we manage the reintroduction of animals back into the wild?

• Reproduction Genetics and Breeding

o What is small population biology and what makes small populations special?

• Animal Health and Disease

o What is the role of a veterinary biologist in managing endangered species health?

o What techniques can we use to monitor parasites and pathogens in populations?

• Animal nutrition

o How do we plan a diet for an unknown species?

• Animal Behaviour

o Should we manage animals to maintain behaviours in captivity?

o How do we conduct a study to determine if animal welfare needs are being met?

The Practical Contents cover:

• A group based animal behavioural study that assesses enclosure usage of a specific species. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be a total of 4.5 days spent at Durrell Conservation Academy in Jersey where time will be spent in lectures, question and answer sessions and behind the scenes tours (mammals, herpetology and veterinary centre). 

Time will also be available for completion of the practical element (enclosure usage study) and reporting of initial findings. 


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15
Fieldwork 17
Guided independent study 68
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Other information on summative assessment:

A group presentation (50%).

A scientific report on the small scale study conducted at Durrell (50%) submitted early in the Autumn Term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    By submission of written assignment during the August/September re-examination period. 

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: 

    2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: Sturdy footwear e.g. walking boots, waterproof/outdoor clothing suitable for field work.

    4) Printing and binding: 

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Approx. cost of residential field course in Jersey, £550.


    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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