Module: Wildlife Conservation: Principles and Practice

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Kelly Swallow
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    200 hours
  • Contact hrs

    50 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

Understanding the reasons for the conservation of wildlife, and the approaches taken to achieve it, are essential components for students of wildlife, countryside or environmental conservation. This module provides students with a core understanding of how and why conservation is undertaken in Britain, within a global context. Students will build on the theory and practice learned in this module throughout their studies and into the workplace. Using case studies and field visits, students will understand the real world application of these important factors in conserving wildlife. The main themes of this module are:

  • The rationale for wildlife conservation, including threats to wildlife, human uses of wild resources, and intrinsic value.
  • Ex-situ conservation practices such as zoos, wildlife centres, botanic gardens, seed banks, arboretums, and In-situ conservation practices such as designated protected areas, wildlife reserve design, non-designated areas such as farmland.
  • Conservation organisations, including government, non-governmental, pressure groups. Relevant legislation and designations.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must:

  1. Understand the rationale for wildlife conservation and the ecosystem approach.
  2. Know the purpose of the general international and British legislative framework, and the roles of governmental and non-governmental organisations relating to wildlife conservation
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of in-situ and ex-situ conservation practices.
  4. Understand the basic scientific principles underpinning the in-situ and ex-situ conservation of flora and fauna.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Essay (1500 words) 50%
Examination 1.5 hour exam 50%

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Hambler, C. and Canney, S.M. (2013) Conservation. 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press.
  • Juniper, T. (2013) What has nature ever done for us?: how money really does grow on trees. Profile.
  • Krausman, P.R. and Leopold, B.D. (2013) Essential readings in wildlife management and conservation. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Levin, S.A. (ed.) (2013) Encyclopedia of biodiversity. 2nd edn. Elsevier. [E-book] Available at:
  • Rotherham, I.D. (2014) Eco-history: an introduction to biodiversity & conservation. The White Horse Press.

Supporting texts

  • Allison, S. (2014) Ecological restoration and environmental change: renewing damaged ecosystems. Routledge.
  • Guerrant, E., Havens, K. and Maunder,  M. (eds) (2004) Ex-situ plant conservation: supporting species survival in the wild. Island press
  • Jackson, S., Walker K. and Gaston, K. (2009) Relationship between distributions of threatened plants and protected areas in Britain. Biological Conservation, 142, 1515-1522.
  • Jeffries, M.J. (2006) Biodiversity and conservation. 2nd edn. Routledge.
  • Maclean, N. (2015) A less green and pleasant land : our threatened wildlife. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Maxted, N. (ed.) (2011) Agrobiodiversity conservation : securing the diversity of crop wild relatives and landraces. Cambridge, MA: CABI.
  • Park, C. and Allaby, M. (2013) A dictionary of environment and conservation. 2nd edn. Oxford University Press.
  • Reid, C.T. (2009) Nature conservation law. 3rd edn. Thomson Reuters
  • Scott-Mills. L.S. (2013) Conservation of wildlife Populations: demography, genetics and management. 2nd edn Wiley-Blackwell:
  • Redpath, S., Gutirrez, R., Wood, K. and Young, J. (2015) Conflicts in conservation : navigating towards solutions. Cambridge University Press.
  • Stolton, S. and Dudley, N. (2010) Arguments for protected areas: multiple benefits for conservation and use. London: Earthscan. [E-book] Available at: