Reintroduction and other Conservation Translocations

Course unit title:

Reintroduction and other Conservation Translocations

Degree in:

Master Course in Wildlife Management, Conservation, And Control (WMCC)

Credits:

15 divided into 2 modules: Morphological and Physiological Adaptation to Environmental Changes (9 credits) and Stress and Animal Welfare (6 credits)

Year:

2

Semester:

1

Type of course unit:

Compulsory

Language of instruction:

English

Learning outcomes of the course unit:

Students will learn how to manage a reintroduction and/or conservation translocations of wild species respecting animal welfare and optimizing their change to adapt to the new environment. In particular, the course aims at providing the basic concepts of stress physiology to understand the responses of different organs and systems, and the dynamics of integration between the different functions through the nervous and hormonal system to maintain the homeostasis of the animal organism during stressful events. In addition, student will learn the principles at the basis of morphological changes occurring in some animal apparatus over the course of the adaptation process, such as changes in body and extremity size, as well as skin and coat pigmentation, which may affect the overall fitness of individuals in their environment. Finally, the course will focus on the study of translocation physiology, as an emerging tool to help refining conservation translocation methods. Students will become familiar with the field-based measurements that can be used as indicators of the general health and wellbeing of individual animals or populations, and with the most appropriate measures and methods to be used to assess the adaptation of the released animals in the new environment. At the end of the course, students will be able to assess the degree of wellbeing and adaptation of wild animals following environmental changes.

Course contents:

Stress, measurement of stress, autonomous and metabolic responses to stress.

Behavioral responses to stress

Animal welfare and its evaluation

Morphological adaptations of neuroendocrine, musculoskeletal, integumentary, digestive, reproductive systems to environmental changes;

Overview of conservation physiology

Physiology in conservation translocations

International guidelines for reintroductions and other conservation translocations.

Recommended or require reading and course materials:

The slides of the presentation used during the course will be available to the students. Other learning material will be suggested during the course.

Mode of delivery:

Frontal lesson and practical lesson in groups.

Teaching methods:

Literature review, problem solving, infield practice.

Assessment methods and criteria:

Students will be graded based on written exam. The exam will take place on the days immediately after the course and last a maximum of 2 hours.