BIMWC1-The Management of Vertebrates for Conservation

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Dr Colin Prescott


Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the potential impact of vertebrate pests on the managed and natural environment, and the necessity for their control.

Assessable learning outcomes:
• assess the negative impact of vertebrate species on conservation and the environment
• design control strategies that integrate different methods of control (lethal and non-lethal)
• take account of the law, animal welfare issues, non-target issues and public concern when dealing with vertebrate pest species

Additional outcomes:
The module will also provide the students with an opportunity to develop their written and oral presentational skills during discussion sessions. The module provides a valuable link with other groups working on environmental issues (for example English Nature; Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust; WildCRU) which can provide opportunities for Research Projects.

Outline content:
Some vertebrate species interfere with man's activities, in which case they are assigned the label "pest". The first reaction is often to control them. In certain situations (e.g. agriculture), where the objective is to control damage, methods can be applied to reduce the average abundance of the pest species. In other situations (e.g. hospitals, human dwellings, or on islands), the objective can be eradication. Alternatively, where control is unacceptable (badgers) or impractical (rabbits), physical barriers may be used to exclude the pest species. Where vertebrates impact on the natural environment, their control often becomes an integral part of wildlife management and conservation. However, there are also concerns about the use of vertebrate pesticides and their detrimental effect on the environment.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A large proportion of this module is presented by visiting lecturers who are recognised authorities in their field. Accordingly, methods of presentation vary considerably, and include a variety of techniques (e.g. PowerPoint, slides, video etc) admixed with discussion around the topic. At the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust headquarters at Fordingbridge, the students are given a considerable amount of relevant literature that complement a series of seminars and presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 27
External visits 6
Guided independent study 67
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework: Students independently write a structured review of one aspect of the topic.

Relative percentage of coursework: 40%

Formative assessment methods:
Written assignment – essay.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
A 1.5 hour examination requiring the answer to one question from three. This contributes 60% of the overall assessment.

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of at least 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in August/September

Last updated: 11 March 2015

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