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BIO8062 : Global Species Conservation Principles and Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zarah Pattison
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Stopping species from becoming extinct and improving their conservation status has long been a central concern of many different organisations and agencies, and include both government and non-government groups. This is now enshrined in the Convention of Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020, where Target 12 states: By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained. At the same time, our ability to plan and implement meaningful species conservation programmes is improving, in large because there has been significant learning of lessons from past successes and failures that have resulted in much better guidance. The CBD post-2020 draft has also been released (2020) with a set of new targets for species conservation.

The module will introduce the key factors that should be considered when analysing what a species’ conservation needs are and how to develop a conservation strategy in response. Students will gain in depth experience of strategic planning processes and guidance that has been adopted by IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, such as Species Conservation Planning, ex situ management and reintroduction.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will present an overview of the increasing impact of human activities on biodiversity.

It will provide describe the development and current status of global policy and management responses to the deteriorating state of species and habitats.

It will then introduce some of the key strategic approaches and guidance processes that have been developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Natures's (IUCN) Species Survival Commission and which are often seen as global standards or good practice. These include strategic planning for species conservation and guidance for using ex situ management and translocation for conservation purposes.

These approaches and guidance processes will then be explored through case studies and through students’ application of the principles and guidelines.

It will explore the perceived conservation needs and the constraints that may influence their attainment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Lectures and 30 min intro to the module
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Assessment preparation 100% of module grade
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading131:0013:00Directed reading from list provided
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Strategic planning,
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Species Guidance
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Student Presentations
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity15:005:00Reflecting on experience of developing strategies and applying global standards
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Time available to answer course assessment queries
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study61:006:00Lecture follow-up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study36:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion33:009:00Workshop follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The course will be delivered over a two week block and will involve small group teaching and group projects. Lectures will set the context and provide an overview and essential knowledge for each topic covered. Students will then work on their own or in groups (depending on the topic) to gather further information, communicate it well to each other and then apply in a workshop or seminar context. They will then reflect on lessons learnt, which may include knowledge, personal values, the perspectives of others and ways of communicating effectively when designing conservation strategies and plans.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M100Strategy or technical plan (e.g. for ex situ or translocation) for a species. 2000 upper word limit.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is fundamentally concerned with giving students the opportunity to develop skills in developing a species conservation strategy and applying global guidance on when specific conservation interventions are appropriate. The module provides the knowledge within which this is all relevant and the global policy, strategies and standards that are currently used, and the students will have practice in applying these approaches. The assessment, therefore, is designed to examine this in detail, and will explore both their understanding and critical thinking of when and how to apply such global standards to a pressing global species conservation problem.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists