This module will provide you with valuable ecological surveying and species identification techniques within the context of conservation priorities for a local and unique national park, the New Forest, through a series of day trips in order to complete a research project. You will be able to build on the taxonomic skills you gained in BIOL1001. You will focus on UK wildlife and identify to species level, a valuable employability skill, particularly if you are interested in pursuing a career in ecological consultancy.
The New Forest national park is a mosaic of ancient and ornamental woodland, open heaths, rivers and valley mires, with a coastline of mudflats and saltmarshes. The variety of habitat types means there is a huge diversity of plant and animal species, including 29 nationally important species. As a result the New Forest has a designated Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and a Ramsar site, which together cover 29,000 hectares. These conservation areas and the New Forest national park are managed by a partnership of organisations, all with the aim of restoring and maintaining biodiversity. This requires not only knowledge of the New Forest and also practical skills, such as ecological surveying and species identification, in order to provide evidence-based recommendations for management.
The skills gained in this module will allow you design and implement a research project which will contribute to the New Forest Landscape Partnership's priority 4a) Biodiversity monitoring: to identify sites for restoration, enhancement and improved management. Your research project will also align with the New Forest's Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). As a result your project findings will provide evidence-based recommendations for management of the New Forest national park and conservation areas. The real-world focus of the research project will require the more advanced skills taught in this module, building on those covered in the first year field course.
Teaching sessions will be accompanied by practical work which involves animal observation, with alternatives in place if required to meet minimum learning outcomes.
Pre-requisites: BIOL1029 AND BIOL1030