Animal Protection and Habitat Conservation - (15 Credits)

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), a global audit of the World’s ecosystems, identified that ecosystems have declined more rapidly and extensively over the past 50 years than during any other comparable time in human history. Such decline has resulted in the extinction of species at a rate that surpasses that of historic background levels, perhaps by as much as three orders-of-magnitude. Using specific examples, the module considers various methods used in the sector for habitat conservation, including systematic conservation planning, landscape-scale approaches, adaptive management, protected area design, habitat restoration, and the use of habitat suitability index studies to inform management practice. Issues relating to minimum viable populations and minimum viable areas are also considered. The importance of the socio-economic and cultural context for habitat conservation, and relevant international legislation and organisational efforts and practices are also explored. This module investigates the scientific, cultural and ethical drivers underpinning the protection of landscapes and their wild animal populations, and the use of examples throughout will demonstrate approaches employed to promote and support effective species and habitat conservation.