BB837: Biodiversity: Protection and Management

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: Danish or English depending on the teacher, but English if international students are enrolled
EKA: N110030102
Censorship: Second examiner: Internal
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Spring
Level: Master's level course approved as PhD course

STADS ID (UVA): N110030101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 22-10-2018


Duration: 1 semester

Version: Archive

Comment

Please note that the course includes an excursion with stay at Danhostel Givskud Zoo. A small fee will be charged, by a web pay link, that will cover the cost of meals during the excursion.

04013101(former UVA) is identical with this course description. 

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s degree is required. It is recommended if the student has some basic knowledge in population biology and evolution.

Academic preconditions

Students taking the course are expected to:
  • Have knowledge of basic biology
  • Be able to use Excel, Power Point and be open to learn during the course new open software tools. 

Course introduction

The aim of the course is to enable the student to understand the
process to develop a Species Management Plans. Furthermore the aim is to
introduce students on the application of decision analyses and decision
quality to assess which are the best management alternatives when there
is the risk of a population or a species to become extinct.  This is
important because biodiversity loss is one of the major drivers of
ecosystem change, therefore it is imperative to prevent further species
extinction. The class focuses on Target 12 of the Convention of
Biological Diversity (CBD), which aims to significantly reduce current
extinction trends. In this intensive course we will review: what defines
a species, how biodiversity levels have changed throughout the planet’s
history and compare it with the current extinction rates. We will use
Decision Quality including Decision Analyses tools to assess which is
the best possible alternative to protect a species. For this, we will
review different conservation approaches and tools for the development
of a Species Management Plan (SMP). Students in teams will develop a
Species Management Plan for a selected species. Concepts of the role of
genetic and demographic information to forecast extinction risks will be
covered, together with the importance of considering key stakeholders.
Students will develop a Population Viability Analysis (PVA) and a basic
stakeholder analysis. The results from this will be used as the basic
information for the decision making process by using the six elements of
Decision Quality. The course will consist of one meeting previous to
the intensive sixth day course. The course will take place in Givskuid
Zoo where the students are expected to work in teams; each team could
choose one of the threatened species held at Givskuid zoo for their
project, for which basic data on the species will be provided. The
course will be evaluated by an individual exam on the general concepts
and a short team presentation of the final project. 

The
course builds on the knowledge acquired in the courses of Population
and evolution (BB512), and gives an academic basis for applying
knowledge obtained in other topics in biology towards biodiversity
conservation. 

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:
Give the competence to:
  • Manage
    work and development situations, independently start up and go through
    with professional teamwork and take responsibility for one´s own
    professional development and specialisation.
 Give skills to:
  • Run a basic Population Viability Analyses using open software PVA).
  • Develop a stakeholder analyses (SA). 
  • Incorporate the data developed in the PVA and SA in a decision analyses
  • Apply acquired concepts for the decision making process of a species conservation
  • Generate an analysis of population viability using genetic and demographic information. 
Give knowledge and understanding of:
  • The 6th principles of Decision Quality for species conservation.
  • A
    basic review of the application of decision analyses tools for species
    conservation Understand the species and biodiversity concepts
  • The species and biodiversity concepts
  • The
    difference between current biodiversity extinction rates to the
    recorded during the Earth’s 5th mass extinctions and the background
    rates. 

Which are the main tools for species conservation.

Expected learning outcome

The learning objective of the course is that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • Understand the species concept 
  • Explain
    the difference between mass and background extinction and be able to
    compare pre-existing extinction rates with the ones after the industrial
    revolution.
  • Be able to identify the IUCN Red List criteria for a chosen species.
  • Be able to integrate genetics and demographic information for a simple Population Viability Analyses of a particular species.
  • Develop a basic analysis of the key Stakeholders around the problems that affect or benefit species population’s viability.
  • Understand the sixth principles of decision quality and apply them to a conservation goal for the particular species chosen.
  • Formulate a basic Species Management Plan by integrating the previous three topics.
  • Explain
    why the conservation of a particular species is important in the
    general context of biodiversity conservation (i.e ecosystems services).

Content

The learning objective of the course is that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • Understand the species concept 
  • Explain
    the difference between mass and background extinction and be able to
    compare pre-existing extinction rates with the ones after the industrial
    revolution.
  • Be able to identify the IUCN Red List criteria for a chosen species.
  • Be able to integrate genetics and demographic information for a simple Population Viability Analyses of a particular species.
  • Develop a basic analysis of the key Stakeholders around the problems that affect or benefit species population’s viability.
  • Understand the sixth principles of decision quality and apply them to a conservation goal for the particular species chosen.
  • Formulate a basic Species Management Plan by integrating the previous three topics.
  • Explain
    why the conservation of a particular species is important in the
    general context of biodiversity conservation (i.e ecosystems services).

Literature

See Blackboard for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Exam element a)

Timing

Spring

Tests

Oral Presentation

EKA

N110030102

Censorship

Second examiner: Internal

Grading

7-point grading scale

Identification

Student Identification Card

Language

Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

To be announced during the course

ECTS value

5

Additional information

Final oral exam on general concepts (individual) and final presentation of team project.

The examination form for re-examination may be different from the exam form at the regular exam.

Indicative number of lessons

50 hours per semester

Teaching Method

The teaching combines traditional lectures with the Socratic method to promotes and stimulates student’s critical thinking. The class is design to have a student-centered learning approach.

  • Reading of key literature for the course topics (provided by lecturer).
  • Previous to the class watch introductory videos for some of the topics to be covered (provided by lecturer).
  • Tutorial on PVAs (provided by lecturer and TA)
  • Discussion
    in person or SKYPE with key policy makers, zoo managers and scientist
    working on species conservation programs (arranged by the lecturer and
    TA).
  • Research on the chosen species on relevant topics to
    develop a Species Management Plan. For example current and possible
    future threats, geographical distribution, IUCN status and possible role
    on the ecosystem (This material will be obtained by the students in
    their teams).

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
Dalia Amor Conde dalia@biology.sdu.dk

Timetable

Administrative Unit

Biologisk Institut

Team at Registration & Legality

NAT

Recommended course of study

Profile Programme Semester Period