Survey and Monitoring for Biodiversity - DI303

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5) DR C Gardner







The broad aim of this module is to provide students with practical field experience in biodiversity monitoring and assessment methods. Specific aims are to introduce students to a range of basic field techniques and develop their skills in the collection, analysis and presentation of field data. The module provides an essential practical element of the Wildlife Conservation programme.

The module is spread over the latter half of the Spring Term. Spreading the course out in this way allows different groups of organisms to be examined as they become available for survey and the dates may vary slightly from year to year. Groups of students will each undertake survey or monitoring projects under the supervision of a member of staff. Each project will assess the biodiversity of an appropriate taxonomic group (eg. birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected carry out a range of surveys, analyse the data and present a short seminar on their results at the end of the module.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 120
Total study hours: 150


BSc Wildlife Conservation
BSc Environmental Social Science
BSc Biology

Method of assessment

100% coursework
Practical Assessment (75%)
Group Participation and Oral Presentation (15%)
Abstract (10%)

Indicative reading

Dytham, C. (2010) Choosing and Using Statistics: a Biologist's Guide, 3rd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell
Elzinga, C.L et al (2001) Monitoring Plant and Animal Populations: a Handbook for Field Biologists. Wiley-Blackwell.
Henderson, P.A. (2003) Practical Methods in Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell.
Krebs, C.J. (1999) Ecological Methodology, 2nd Edition. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers.
Sutherland, W.J. (2006) Ecological Census Techniques: a Handbook, 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

8.1 Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to apply, the principles underlying good survey design and analysis in biodiversity assessment.
8.2 Demonstrate a practical knowledge of principle survey methods required for assessing populations and/or diversity of several taxa.
8.3 Demonstrate an understanding of health and safety, biosecurity, ethical and animal welfare issues relating to field work involving the assessment of populations

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