Wildlife Management

Course CodeBEN205
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Comment from one of our students
"Great tutors, very helpful feedback.  Relevant interconnected themes gave the best overall idea about the profession." Wildlife Management Certificate student, UK. 


Get a head start on your career in Wildlife Management...



Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Wildlife Management
    • What is Wildlife Management
    • Approaches to Wildlife Management (Preservation, Conservation, Management)
    • Purpose of Wildlife Management
    • Goals
    • Decision Making (Who makes decisions, Making good decisions)
    • Needs of Wildlife
    • What’s a Good Habitat
    • Limiting factor
    • Carrying capacity
    • Landscape Fragmentation
    • Habitat Diversity
    • Arrangement
    • Biological Control
    • Integrated Pest Management
  2. Wildlife Ecology
    • Ecology (Mutualism, Commensalisms, Competition, Predation, parasitism, herbivore)
    • Behavioural Ecology
    • Population Ecology
    • Community Ecology
    • Ecosystem Ecology
    • Interactions within a Community
    • Competition
    • Predation
    • Parasitism
    • Commensalism
    • Mutualism
    • The Food Web (Detrital Web, Grazing Web, Trophic Levels)
    • Energy Flow
    • Imbalances
  3. Wildlife Habitats
    • Introduction
    • Classification of Habitats
    • Biomes, Ecosystems, Microclimates
    • Timbered Biomes (Boreal Forest/ Taiga, Temperate Forest, Tropical Forest, Woodland)
    • Scrubland
    • Tropical Savannah
    • Temperate Grassland
    • Arctic Tundra
    • Alpine
    • Semi-desert
    • Desert
    • Man Made Biomes (Urban, Agricultural)
    • Wet Biomes (Mangrove, Rivers, Benthos, Pelagic, Continental Shelf, Coral Reef,
    • Animal Use of Features in Biomes (Trees, Logs, Surface Rocks and Ground Cover, Creeks, Wetlands and Dams)
    • Case Studies
    • Changes to Habitats (Physical, Biological, Pollution)
    • Water for Wildlife
    • Site Water Points
    • Managing Trees
    • Deforestation
    • Afforestation
  4. Population Dynamics
    • Populations
    • Birth or Fecundity Rate
    • Death or Mortality Rate
    • Growth Rate
    • Life Tables
    • Cohort or Dynamic Life Tables (Age Specific)
    • Static or Time Specific Life Tables
    • Rodents
    • Squirrels
    • Rabbits
    • Mosquitoes
    • Grasshoppers
    • Case Studies of different animals in different countries
  5. Carrying Capacity
    • Introduction
    • Exponential Population Growth
    • What is Carrying Capacity
    • Fisheries stock management (stock Identification, assessment, biomass)
    • Stock Management Methods
  6. Wildlife Censuses
    • Introduction and census types
    • Total Counts
    • Sampling (Simple Random, Stratified Random, Systemic, Two Stage, Double sampling)
    • Accuracy vs Precision
    • Bias Errors
    • Aerial Surveys
    • Trapping
    • Transects
    • Indirect Methods
    • Mark-Recapture method
    • Roadside and Call Counts
    • Mapping
    • Sampling methods for specific types of animals (ie. Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Invertebrates, Mammals etc.)
    • Animal Ethics
    • Case Study
  7. Wildlife Management Techniques
    • Habitat Modification
    • Fire
    • Vegetation Management
    • Predator Control
    • Habitat Features
    • Seeding
    • Population Monitoring
    • Captive Breeding and Release
    • Culling and Cropping
    • Control of pest or undesirable wildlife species
    • Control Objectives
    • Effects of Control
    • Control Techniques (Manipulating mortality, fertility, Genetic Engineering, indirect methods)
  8. Wildlife Management Law and Administration
    • Policy and Wildlife Law
    • International Environmental Law
    • Treaties
    • International Customary Laws
    • Hard vs Soft Law
    • Domestic/National Law
    • Evolving Domestic Law
    • Sources of Legislation
    • Environmental Ethics
    • Enforcement
  9. ​Wildlife Management Case Study Research Project. Problem Based Learning Project with following aims:
    • Identify the objectives of a management program for an endangered species.
    • Determine appropriate techniques for carrying out a census of an endangered species.
    • Identify techniques for increasing the population of the endangered species.
    • Identify pest species and their undesirable effect on the endangered species of bird.
    • Identify techniques for reducing the undesirable impacts of the pest species on the endangered bird.
    • Present a management plan in a form that is appropriate for use by wildlife worker.


  • Develop a concept of how man manages wildlife populations in different situations around the world.
  • Understand and discuss the principles of wildlife ecology.
  • Understand wildlife habitats and their importance to managing wildlife.
  • Explain how populations of any one species change and adapt to variations in their environment.
  • Understand carrying capacity and its importance in managing wildlife populations.
  • Explain a range of different methods used to determine the number of individuals in a wildlife population.
  • Discuss a range of different wildlife management techniques.
  • To understand the potentials and limitations of legal and administrative initiatives, in the pursuance of more effective wildlife management.
  • Examine a specific wildlife management case of interest to the student.

What You Will Do

  • Network with individuals and organisations involved in wildlife management (over the internet, by phone, mail or in person -There's lots of flexibility in how you do this!)
  • Research pest species of wildlife and endangered or threatened species of wildlife.
  • Visit a natural area in your locality and observe the organisms in the area and their interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Explain what trophic levels are and how energy flows between them.
  • Define habitat, biome, vegetation formation and feeding radius.
  • Visit a zoo, wildlife park, game reserve, pet shop, fauna sanctuary or other place where wild animals are kept in captivity to observe the animals in their captive surroundings and compare these with their native surroundings.
  • Identify a predator-prey relationship between two species in a local ecosystem and make predictions about changes to this relationship.
  • Research the difference between r and K strategists in animals.
  • Design a wildlife survey using a suitable sampling technique. Write this survey up as a mini scientific report containing an Abstract/Project Summary, Methods and materials section, Results/Discussion and Conclusion.
  • Research the success of one wildlife program where wildlife have been bred in captivity and then released.
  • Draw up a table that lists the advantages and disadvantages of allowing hunting to proceed in game parks where the animals being hunted are native to the area.
  • Telephone or contact a wildlife management agency in your area to determine the relevant local, regional, national and international laws that apply to wildlife in your locality.
  • Prepare a report of no less than 1000 words on a population of animals surveyed during the course.

Extracts from the Course

Reasons for managing wildlife may (among other things) include:
  • The population of an animal may be increasing too much and is impacting (or may impact) on other species (plant and animal).
  • Inadvertent introduction of a non indigenous species to an area may have changed the balance of nature.
  • Climate change, abnormal events (eg. Natural disaster) or development activity, may have changed or caused instability in the balance of nature.
  • Control of disease carried by animals (Diseases that affect domestic animals, livestock, other wildlife and even humans).
  • Conserving threatened species.
  • Studying different species.
  • Sustaining a harvestable resource (eg. Fish populations in the oceans).
  • Protecting individual animals from unnecessary or unethical harm.


Goals of Wildlife Management

The goals of wildlife management vary considerably with the situation. Goals of wildlife management include:

  • to maintain a desirable population at a certain level.
  • to reduce the population of an undesirable species.
  • to allow for sustainable removal of animals from a population – for example, for hunting purposes.
  • to increase numbers of an endangered species.


Location and Characteristics of Biomes and Common Wildlife






Boreal Forest/ Taiga


Throughout the high northern latitudes

Cold climate with average temperature below 10ºC for up to 11 months per year. Nutrient poor soil, with coniferous forests and moss or lichen ground cover.


Large herbivorous mammals, small rodents, birds.

Temperate Forest


In temperate climates across the world

Variable - includes deciduous forests, evergreen forests and rainforests in temperate zones.

Large and small mammals, insectivorous bird species.

Tropical Forest


Where daily temperatures are warm and consistent and seasons are determined by rainfall rather than temperature.


Diverse both in animals and plants; lots of humus, highly fertile soils, high rainfall.

High diversity of animal species, including primates, mammals, birds and insects.



Can be in tropical or temperate areas.


Lower density of tree cover than forest. Woodlands often an extension of forests in less fertile or drier areas.

Ungulate species including cattle



Varied, including Mediterranean, southern Australia, South Africa.

Dry hot summers and cool wet winters. Sometimes only low shrubs and bushes or sparse scattering of trees. Plants have adaptations to prevent water loss.

Some species of small mammals and birds that are adapted to summer drought.

Tropical Savannah


In semi-arid to semi-humid climates of subtropical and tropical latitudes.

Grassland with sparse to dense scattered trees. Temperature relatively constant with seasonal rainfall. Grasses mostly perennial and will commonly burn each dry season.


Mammal species or macropod herbivores, small carnivorous marsupials, large rodents or birds.

Temperate Grassland


Occur in dry climates in the centre of North America and Asia.

Grassland with scattered, often sparse trees. Seasonal in precipitation and temperature.


Often support large herds of grazing animals, carnivores and birds.

Artic tundra


Stretches across far north hemisphere.

Temperatures at or just above 0ºC for much of the year, with growing season only over 4 months for a range of grasses, sedges, dwarf shrubs, mosses and lichens. Large expanses of vegetation. Poor precipitation and drainage. Frozen permafrost means only surface layer of soil can be used to nourish plants.

Some large and small mammals, abundance of insects and birds.









Occurs on high mountains across all latitudes, even in tropics.


Similar vegetation to tundra, but in smaller scattered patches. Exist in areas of high precipitation and good drainage with high degree of fragmentation.

Mammal and bird species, species found depends on locality.



Often surrounds desert areas.

Scattered hardy plants (bushes, succulents, herbs). Low rainfall, relatively sparse vegetation cover, plants have adaptations to deal with lack of water.

Some animals such as small mammals have adaptations to deal with lack of water. Ground feeding birds also found.



Tend to occupy mid-latitudes. Extend from west to middle of continents.


Little to no vegetation depending on rainfall, with xeric adaptations typical. Seeds lay dormant for years, before germinating, flowering and again setting seed after rainfall.

Some large mammals which are adapted to the environment. Small mammals and lizards.



Found across the world in environments inhabited by humans.

Area with a high density of human created structures. Only fragmented habitats exist, so less animal diversity is present.

Wildlife numbers reduced in these areas due to fragmentation and destruction of habitat. Pest species are often found in urban areas.



Areas across the world involved in the production of food, feed, fibre and livestock.

Habitats largely cleared to allow land for agriculture, so again habitats are fragmented reducing animal numbers and diversity.

Livestock are bred for milk or meat production, can also find pests attracted to food crops, including insects, birds and small mammals.



These are the open oceans away from land, Surface layers of the pelagic oceans receive light; but deep pelagic zone receives no light.

In surface layers, light allows phytoplankton & algae to grow, supporting other species. Deep zone animals survive on sinking material from surface layers.

Large fish, crustaceans, molluscs, worms and small fish in upper levels. Crustaceans, protozoans and fish in deep zone.


Found across the world within tropical climates

Plant community occupying waterlogged saline soils. Able to withstand regular inundation by tides.

Nursery for fish. Also supports crustaceans, insects and spiders.


Located around the world

Includes the land adjoining the water. Changes in character along it's course. The land adjoining can vary between woodlands, to grasslands and wetlands.

Habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.



Deep ocean environments.

Cold, dark and pressured.

Supports a diversity of animals in bottom mud.

Continental Shelf

Extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain.

Richest in nutrients, plankton and animal life. Also a high density of marine invertebrates.


Marine invertebrates, fish, large mammals.

Coral Reef


Form a rim around oceanic islands.

Similar ecological characteristics to continental shelf, high level of biodiversity.

Marine invertebrates, fish, large mammals.



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