701-0305-00L Vertebrate Ecology
|Semester||Autumn Semester 2016|
|Lecturers||W. Suter, J. Senn|
|Periodicity||yearly recurring course|
|Language of instruction||German|
|Abstract||The course offers an overview on the ecology and conservation biology of birds and mammals. Important concepts from physiology, behavioural ecology, population biology, biogeography and community ecology will be linked to applications in conservation and management. A worldwide perspective will be complemented by a focus on the Central European fauna and its dynamics.|
|Objective||The students are familiar with important topics in animal ecology, with an emphasis on birds and mammals. They are able to link theoretical concepts with visible ecological phenomena, and view them against an evolutionary backdrop. They can thus appraise applied aspects of the conservation and the use of animal populations, such as the influence of larger predators on prey populations or of herbivores on vegetation, the effects of hunting, landscape change, or of other human influences on animal populations. They understand the biogeographical characteristics of the Central European vertebrate fauna and its temporal and spatial dynamics.|
|Content||The course deals with a number of main topics that include feeding and resource use, spatial behaviour and migrations, reproduction, population dynamics, competition and predation, biodiversity and distributions, and dynamics of the Central European fauna. There is an emphasis on linking theory with management issues in conservation and management of wildlife populations. During the first half of the course, examples will be drawn worldwide whereas during the second half, the course will focus more strongly on the European fauna, particularly of the Alpine region. Although the course is not designed to teach natural history of the native species, examples will cover much of the taxonomic breadth of the European fauna. Students are expected to read one paper and to present it to the audience. In addition, two optional field trips will be offered on weekends during the semester (2 days in the Swiss National Park: probably 10-11 October, one day in an important wetland for waterbirds: a Saturday in Nov./Dec., by arrangement).|
For the detailed program, see the German text.
|Lecture notes||Lecture notes will be available.|
|Literature||Literature will be listed in the lecture notes, and papers to be presented will be distributed if needed. Some books relevant to the course are (optional reading):|
- Fryxell, J.M., Sinclair, A.R.E., & Caughley, G. 2014. Wildlife Ecology, Conservation, and Management. 3rd ed. Wiley Blackwell, Chichester, UK.
- Boitani, L. & Fuller, T. editors. 2000. Research Techniques in Animal Ecology: Controversies and Consequences. Columbia University Press.
|Prerequisites / Notice||- Everybody will be expected to present a scientific paper in class, to be chosen from a list given.|