BIO3036 : Mammal Surveying Skills
- Offered for Year: 2017/18
- Module Leader(s): Dr Aileen Mill
- Lecturer: Professor Stephen Rushton
- Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
To provide training and expertise in field study and monitoring of mammal populations. The course will provide a broad view of different methods, analysis and their applications in wildlife population management and conservation.
Outline Of Syllabus
This module will be taught as a week long field course at Cockle Park. Students will learn the practical skills involved in collecting data using four field survey techniques. During the course the students will learn how to analyse population and distribution using the latest software packages in R. Students will consider the application of the techniques to different survey and monitoring situations in including ethical considerations and experimental design.
Field techniques will include:
Radio-tracking of habitat use by mammals:
The aim is to provide experience in tracking of individual mammal species using radio tracking.
Small mammal trapping to estimate population density:
Assessing mammal population density is difficult because most mammal species in the UK are rarely observed. We will train students in the use of baited trapping (of rodents) with mark-release recapture as a means of analysing population density.
Bat monitoring to assess community composition and time budgets:
A lecture will provide a background on bat echolocation and species ecology. Students will be trained in how to use bat detectors, tuning to different frequencies for different species. Students will be provided with several recordings of bats and will analyse the data using batscan to determine which species are most likely recorded and the temporal range of foraging activity of each species.
Distance sampling for estimating abundance and density
Students will be trained in distance sampling methodology for estimating abundance and density. Students will learn how to estimate detection rates and incorporate error into their abundance estimates.
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||30:00||30:00||completion of course work|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||5||1:00||5:00||Pre field work lectures on techniques|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Fieldwork||5||7:00||35:00||TIme in the field at cockle park|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||20:00||20:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Distance Learning Advance Preparation||1||10:00||10:00||Pre-course reading.|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
The module will be practical based, each technique will be introduced with a short lecture providing the background on the ecology of the species to be monitored, the ethics of the technique and practical considerations. Students will be given a brief of each task and shown how to use specific equipment in small groups,to ensure all can see how it is used and will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the uses and benefits of each technique. All students will have the opportunity to use all the techniques.
Data analysis will be guided with detailed hand outs on how to upload data and basic usage of the packages and functions. Where limited data have been collected in the field suitable datasets for full analysis will be provided. Students will be encouraged to use available resources (books, papers,websites) to further their knowledge for details on more advanced analysis.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Written exercise||1||M||100||1500-2000 word report on 3 of the 4 activities.Field trip attendance is compulsory. Non-attendance will result in a mark penalty|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The report will cover three of the four techniques covered and will include writing up data analyses and structured discussion (based on specific questions to determine depth of knowledge).