Key issues in Conservation Science - DI505

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 3)
Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR J Bicknell checkmark-circle


The aim of this module is to examine emerging and controversial topics in conservation biology and to help students develop conceptual and critical thinking. Each week a topic is introduced in the lecture and discussed in seminar later in the week. You will be given papers on Moodle to read and evaluate before the seminar. Indicative topics that will be critically evaluated during the course include: developing sustainable use strategies for over-exploited species, wildlife trade and illegal hunting, the roles of zoos and museums in conservation biology, the impact of emerging infectious diseases, large-scale ecological and evolutionary approaches for setting conservation priorities, and the importance of reintroduction for recovery of threatened species.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours



BSc Wildlife Conservation

Method of assessment

Written Report (50%)
Examination, 2 hour (50%).

Indicative reading

Ewen, J.G. 2012 Reintroduction biology: integrating science and management. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford
Gaston, K.J. and Blackburn, T.M. 2000 Pattern and Process in Macroecology. Blackwells.
Gaston, K.J. and Spicer, J.I. 2004 Biodiversity: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing
Milner-Gulland, E.J. and Rowcliffe, J.M. 2007. Conservation and Sustainable Use: A Handbook of Techniques. Oxford University Press
Osborne, P.L. 2000. Tropical Ecosystems and Ecological Concepts. Cambridge University Press
Pimm, S.L. 1991 The Balance of Nature: Ecological Issues in Conservation of Species and Communities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago
Sodhi, N.S. 2007. Tropical Conservation Biology. Blackwell Publishing.
Zimmermann, A. 2007 Zoos in the 21st century: catalysts for conservation? Cambridge University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

demonstrate a sound understanding of current key issues in biodiversity and conservation
develop an enhanced understanding of some important concepts in conservation science
demonstrate skills in critical thinking, and theoretically apply these to conservation problems
understand how current issues impact on conservation practice
develop skills to predict future issues in conservation (horizon scanning)


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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