Species conservation and management

Course Code :2001WETTPO
Study domain:Biology
Academic year:2020-2021
Semester:1st semester
Sequentiality:The student must have taken 'Ecology of populations and communities (2001WETPOP)' in the previous academic year.
Contact hours:60
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Herwig Leirs
Erik Matthysen

3. Course contents *

The first part of the course (E. Matthysen) focuses on species conservation and is structured in accordance with the typical components of a species conservation plan. The three main sections are (i) assessment of conservation status; (ii) analyzing reasons for decline; (iii) species conservation in practice. The course focuses strongly on the use of deterministic and stochastic population models for population viability assessment. Students are introduced to Vortex, a commonly used stochastic simulation model for PVA, and construct their own model for a real species of conservation concern, based on demographic data from the literature.

The second part (H. Leirs) focuses on control and exploitation of populations. This section contains the following topics:

-         Concepts and models for exploitation of populations, strategies for sustainable harvesting and optimal yield including the role of economic factors. We look at fisheries regulation  as an example.

-         Properties of populations of pest species. Common strategies in pest control with their strengths and weaknesses.

-         Influence of environmental stochasticity on population outbreaks. Predictive and simulation models of pest control, including bio-economic aspects.

-         The use of models in predicting establishment, spread and impact of invasive species