BIMED2-Vertebrate Survey and Management

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Phil Baker

Email: p.j.baker@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the methods used to survey and monitor vertebrate populations, with particular emphasis on vertebrates within the UK. In addition, material will be covered on the necessity and methods used to manage vertebrates where their activities conflict with the wider conservation effort.


Aims:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the methods used to survey and monitor vertebrate populations, with particular emphasis on vertebrates within the UK. In addition, material will be covered on the necessity and methods used to manage vertebrates where their activities conflict with the wider conservation effort.


Assessable learning outcomes:

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




  • • Identify and describe a range of bird, mammal and other vertebrate species

  • • Describe and critically assess current methods used by governmental and non-governmental organisations to survey and monitor vertebrates in the UK

  • • Describe and discuss the legislation and legislative restrictions associated with the study of vertebrates.

  • • Apply appropriate analytical techniques to the analysis of capture-mark-recapture data

  • • Apply appropriate analytical techniques to the analysis of data collected according to “DISTANCE” methodologies

  • • Assess the negative impact of vertebrate species on conservation, the environment and human interests

  • • Critically evaluate control strategies that integrate different methods of control (lethal and non-lethal)

  • • Be aware of the legal,  welfare,  non-target and public concern issues associated with dealing with vertebrate pest species


Additional outcomes:

The module will also provide the students with an opportunity to develop their written and analytical skills, and to gain first-hand experience of the work conducted by researchers and organisations associated with the monitoring and management of vertebrate populations.


Outline content:

The module will cover a range of field and analytical techniques used to survey and monitor vertebrate populations including sign surveys, DISTANCE sampling, capture-mark-recapture and breeding bird surveys. In each case, particular attention will be given to the legislative issues associated with surveying and monitoring different species and how each species is monitored currently within the UK by governmental and non-governmental organisations. For some components of the module, we will discuss and practice the analytical techniques associated with these survey techniques. Material will also be covered that deal with the management of vertebrate species following survey. Sometimes these will be species that interfere with conservation activities. Material will be covered exploring the ways that the activities of these types of species are managed.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will consist of a series of lectures and computer-based sessions, conducted in conjunction with field exercises to illustrate / practice the techniques discussed. Lectures will be delivered by a combination of Reading University staff and parties from outside the university.



As some work involves the use of live animals, some sessions will be conducted early in the morning or late in the evening.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Fieldwork 20
External visits 20
Guided independent study: 125
       
Total hours by term 200
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework: Students working individually in small groups will be expected to produce a report in the form of a scientific paper based on data on the abundance of selected bird species on the University’s Whiteknights campus. These data will need to be analysed using DISTANCE software. In addition the students will be expected to submit a further literature based assignment.



Relative percentage of coursework: 100%


Formative assessment methods:

Students will conduct a group exercise in which they have to collaboratively design a bird survey, and then collect and analyse the data before writing the results individually in the form of a scientific paper. As a collaborative exercise, students will have the opportunity to discuss the different approaches available amongst themselves, as well as with the module convenor. In addition, students will have access to a range of external speakers and organisations with whom they will be able to critically discuss the topics covered in the module as a whole.


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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of at least 50%


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 April 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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