Study Wildlife Conservation

This terrific course in Wildlife Conservation provides you with a solid understanding of the principles of conservation biology and how to apply these in practical situations.  
  • Learn the skills to start on the path to working in Wildlife Conservation
  • Learn about ecosystem management, habitat fragmentation and restoration, surveying wildlife and plants and creating recovery plans for threatened species.
This course is unique because you can practically apply your knowledge whilst studying from home.  

Wildlife diversity is important in so many ways

The world we live in is made up of hundreds of thousands of different living things, including both plants and animals. Every living thing has evolved to depend upon lots of other living things; which in turn depend on lots more (e.g. If we remove the animals that fish eat, that affects the fish; and in turn, our ability to acquire fish for our food).
Man's very existence is interwoven into a complex web of life. The continued survival of man, depends upon the survival of other living things; and the survival; of other living things depends upon the survival of man.

This is why wildlife conservation is a significant industry!

Course Structure and Contents

There are 10 lessons, as follows:

Lesson 1: Introduction to Wildlife Conservation - The Need for Wildlife Conservation, Important Concepts, Threatening Processes, Biodiversity Indicators and Terminology.

Lesson 2: Recovery of Threatened Species - Loss of Species, Species Vulnerability to Endangerment, Recovery of Species, Habitat Conservation, Research, Captive Breeding, Translocation and Public Involvement.

Lesson 3: Habitat Conservation
- Habitat Types, Habitat Use, Species Richness, Habitat Fragmentation, Creating Habitats, Restoration Ecology, Habitat Rehabilitation, The Role of GIS and the Role of Protected Areas.

Lesson 4: Approaches to Conservation of Threatened Wildlife - Species Approach, Landscape Approach and Ecosystem Approach.

Lesson 5: Vegetation Surveys - Plant Identification, Botanical Keys, Vegetation Survey Techniques, Landscape Assessments, Vegetation Mapping.

Lesson 6: Fauna Surveys - Observation Techniques, Census Techniques, Trapping Techniques and Species Identification.

Lesson 7: Marine Conservation - Reef Surveys, Habitat Surveys, Aerial Surveys, Overexploitation of Fish Species and Commercial Fish Stock Management.

Lesson 8: Planning for Wildlife - Farm Planning, Creating Corridors, Urban Planning, Artificial Habitats and the Use of GIS.

Lesson 9: Management - Managing Threatened Wildlife Populations, Manipulating Populations, Restoration Projects, Pest Control Plans, Exclusion Fencing and Creating Fire Breaks.

Lesson 10: Wildlife Conservation Project

Course Duration: 100 hours


  • Develop a concept of the guiding principles of wildlife conservation and the threats to wildlife.
  • Determine the principles and approaches used towards species recovery.
  • Discuss the principles of habitat conservation with regards to fragmentation, restoration and the use of protected areas.
  • Describe and discuss the various approaches used to conserve threatened species and ecosystems.
  • Appreciate the range of flora survey techniques that have been developed to sample fauna for the purposes of conservation.
  • Discuss and differentiate between fauna survey techniques that have been developed to sample fauna for the purposes of conservation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of over exploitation. Discuss and differentiate between marine survey techniques used to conserve marine species.
  • Discuss and differentiate the range of planning tools available for farming, urban and residential planning to help conserve wildlife.
  • Identify various management techniques used to conserve wildlife.
  • Develop a wildlife recovery plan for a species under threat.


There are a variety of methods used for sampling wildlife populations.  The method chosen will depend on the information the wildlife manager wishes to collect and the behaviour and size of the species he/she is studying.  They may wish to conduct counts of populations within a particular region, record the presence of species within a study area or gather population information on a specific species amongst others. Below are some of the most common methods used.

Aerial Surveys
Aerial surveys are usually undertaken by wildlife managers to assist with improving management techniques of wildlife populations, to gather large amounts of data on different aspects such as habitat, wildlife and ecosystems. It is the most popular survey technique for estimating the size of populations of larger animals.  Think of trying to conduct a population survey of deer over a huge area of countryside.  Flying over the top of the animals to count them is an effective survey method in this instance and also allows managers to gather other population information such as density, age and sex ratios.  

When doing aerial survey work, managers need to first set out the boundaries of the survey area.  The plane can then be flown up and down the survey area, and these runs become the transects of the survey.  

It is a difficult task to estimate herd numbers, or even to spot some species from the air and takes keen observational skills and a lot of practice to become an expert aerial surveyor.

There are various types of traps used by wildlife managers and researchers.  These will vary depending on the species you are trapping, the information you wish to collect and the habitat you are working in.  Some different types of traps include:

Elliot style folding traps – these are commonly used for capturing small terrestrial mammals such as rats, mice, 
  • Mist net traps – these are generally used for capturing bats and birds.  There are various designs ranging in size of gauges of mesh and type of material.  The choice of mist net will depend on the target species.
  • Cage traps – there are a wide range of cage traps used for various species from small mammals, water birds, rabbits, foxes and larger animals such as feral pigs.
  • Pit fall traps – these are usually used in conjunction with drift nets to direct small terrestrial animals such as reptiles into pits in the ground.
  • Harp traps – these are shaped like a harp with a canvas bag at the bottom. These are used to trap bats.
  • Two-stage roost trap – first compartment captures bird which will then walk up to the second compartment to house the birds for up to 2 days. This style of trap is used to capture pest bird species.  

There are also traps which kill the captured species. Obviously, live trapping is preferable with desirable populations.  When trapping problem species, killing during trapping is an option.  However, the actual removal of these individuals from the population does effect the survey data.  Ideally, where possible, pest species should be trapped live and removed for disposal. 

The capture-recapture ratio requires that animals be caught live.  They are marked and released.  The population is then re-sampled.  The population size can be estimated by determining the proportion of the marked animals recaptured.



Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]