Mauritius launch for endangered species study

Wendy Raeside
Picture by Katie MacFarlane
A fieldworker gets to know a giant tortoise on Round Island, off Mauritius coast

A postgraduate diploma in Endangered Species Recovery has celebrated its validation by the University with a launch event in Mauritius.

Exclusively based on the island of Mauritius, the PGDip in Endangered Species Recovery is an intensive, practical programme taught by world-leading experts in the arena of endangered species recovery. With six weeks of intensive taught modules and more than 12 weeks of fieldwork, the programme offers students the opportunity to work with ‘live’ species alongside habitat recovery teams as they work to save species, around Mauritius and its offshore islands, from extinction.

The programme is led by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust under the direction of Jamie Copsey. Academic studies are delivered by Durrell and members of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), part of the University’s School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC). The fieldwork is delivered in partnership between Durrell, the Government of Mauritius Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation who have pioneered species and habitat recovery efforts on the island of Mauritius.

The launch event was hosted by the British High Commissioner Jonathan Drew and included a presentation by Dr Jim Groombridge (DICE/SAC) who worked on development of the programme with Jamie Copsey and who, together with Professor Richard Griffiths (DICE/SAC), led the validation process. The event was attended by the 16 students for 2015, as well as the Government of Mauritius Minister for Education, Dr Vasant K Bunwaree and Minister for Agro-Industry and Food Security Mahen Kumar Seeruttun.

This year’s students hail from across the world, from countries including UK, US, Canada, Mauritius, Madagascar, Australia, and Spain. They will be studying courses such as small population biology and applied genetics, invasive species management, GIS skills, conservation planning, project management and leaders. In the field, students will be designing design pilot research projects and developing essential skills in mist-netting, animal handling, supplementary feeding techniques, tree climbing, rare plant germination techniques and reptile morphometics.

To find out more about this programme visit