Wildlife Resources - (15 Credits)

Humans have exploited / utilized wildlife resources (particularly for their consumptive value) for millennia. Such utilization has resulted in (over-) exploitation of such resources, with serious ramifications, not only for the resource per se, but also for the wider environment and, indeed, human welfare. Such rates of exploitation are unsustainable, and need to be addressed. This module explores the effects on wildlife of environmental change (with a focus on those changes caused by anthropogenic activity). It introduces the concepts of ‘sustainability’, ‘biodiversity’ and 'ecosystem services', and considers the importance / value of biodiversity to human welfare. The module provides a rationale for the need for conservation effort, particularly since ecosystems have declined more rapidly and extensively over that last 50 years than during any other comparable time in human history. Opportunities exist within the module to investigate the utilization and exploitation of wildlife, and issues relating to the conservation of wildlife are considered, encompassing both ex situ and in situ approaches. Overall, the module aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the value of wildlife, and the utilization and conservation of wildlife resources in an era of environmental change.