Survey and Monitoring for Biodiversity - DI303

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5) DR CJAM 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, the Easter Vacation, plus the Summer 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.. invertebrates, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected to arrive at an appropriate design for data collection in discussion with their supervisor, carry out the survey, analyse the data and present a short seminar on their results at the end of the week.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours = 30 hrs; total study hours = 15 x 10 = 150 hrs


This module is available to be taken as a wild module.
The module contributes: BSc Wildlife Conservation.

Method of assessment

100% coursework comprising of write-ups of practical work carried out during the module.

Preliminary reading

Elzinga, C.L .et al "Monitoring Plant and Animal Populations"
Henderson, P.A. "Practical Methods in Ecology"
Krebs, C. "Ecological Methodology"
Sutherland, W.J. "Ecological Census Techniques: A Handbook"
Fowler, J et al "Practical Statistics for Field Biology"

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

An ability to analyse and present data relating to the survey and monitoring of populations.
An understanding of health and safety, biosecurity, ethical and animal welfare issues relating to field work involving the assessment of populations.
An ability to organise work within a team and to present a co-ordinated oral presentation of field work results.
An ability to write-up survey and monitoring data in the form of a concise scientific report.
An understanding of - and ability to apply - the principles underlying good survey design and analysis
A practical knowledge of the principle survey methods required for assessing populations of several taxa
A practical knowledge of the correct way to handle and measure a range of animals in the field

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