Distribution and quantification of biodiversity. Value of biodiversity. The sixth extinction. Strategies of conservation at global level. Fundamentals of quantitative animal ecology for the study of vulnerability of populations and communities (sampling, statistical inference, indices and estimates of occurrence and abundance). Protected areas. Ecosystem management.
Primack e Boitani 2013. Biologia della conservazione. Zanichelli.
Groom, Meffe e Carroll 2005. Principles of conservation biology. Sinauer Associates.
Knowledge acquired: understanding of the fundamentals of conservation biology, and of the strategies and methods for biodiversity conservation at global level.
Competence acquired: approaches to quantify biodiversity, methods in quantitative ecology to assess the vulnerability of populations and communities; understanding of the multitude of management approaches at global level.
Skills acquired: capacity to assess and evaluate critically strategies and plans for biodiversity conservation; capacity to engage into inferential studies to assess spatio-temporal variation of populations and communities.
Zoology, Ecology, Animal ecology
Lectures (Power Point slides). Group discussions on case studies and on selected publications. Engagement into team work to use R software for examples of analyses on populations and communities.
Type of Assessment
Oral exam. Discussion of a Power point presentation prepared by the candidate on a topic of the course/publication selected among a provided list.
Conservation biology: introduction to the discipline. Biodiversity (focus at species-level): definitions, measures (richness and indices), global distribution of terrestrial biodiversity (hotsposts and other rankings). Value of biodiversity (ecosystem, economic, social, intrinsic and ethical issues). Biodiversity crisis and the sixth extinction: historic, current and future situation, causes and threats (habitat degradation and loss, overexploitation, climate changes, etc.). conservation strategies at global level: (1) species protection – focus in-situ, (2) habitat protection, (3) ecosystem management outside protected areas. (1) Fundamentals of quantitative ecology to assess distribution, abundance and vulnerability of populations and communities (including the Population Viability Analyses): sampling (principles of statistical inference) e prime methods with focus on terrestrial mammals (transects, camera trapping, capture-recapture). Relative abundance and indices. Hierarchical approaches to estimate occurrence and abundance of populations. Conservation by proxy (umbrella, charismatic, threatened, indicator species, etc.) and design of monitoring plans to determine temporal trends and vulnerability. The course will include examples of data analyses in R. (2) Protected areas (terrestrial realm): global situation, efficiency and management, criteria to design protected areas, systematic conservation planning. (3) Ecosystem management, connectivity, sustainable development, community-based conservation, global scenarios. Social perception of conservation and citizen science. Conservation outside protected areas.