Posted: 4 years ago

£450 per course

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One Week – Starting 7 SEPTEMBER 2020 – ONLINE

Course Overview

A unique, specially designed course, delivered by world-renowned experts and scientists in the field of Endangered Species Recovery (ESR). This five-day, online interactive learning experience introduces the issues and practical skills involved in saving threatened species from extinction. You will develop a critical understanding of biodiversity conservation, the issues it raises and how they may be addressed, as well as practical research skills to inform conservation action.

Durrell has an extensive history of leading the conservation of highly threatened species, through research and breeding programmes at our headquarters, and in our overseas field conservation programmes.

Course Highlights

  • Live webinars from multiple lecturers and leaders to create an engaging, vibrant learning environment. 
  • A small group size to ensure you receive focused support and on-to-one support when needed.
  • Connect with Jersey Zoo’s famous captive breeding projects through virtual tours led by key staff, and learn first-hand about successful species recovery programmes, such as the Mountain chicken frog of Montserrat, Madagascar pochard and Jersey’s Red-Billed chough.
  • Live question and answer sessions with talented and inspiring members of our global organisation, including our chief scientist, Prof Carl Jones MBE, our honorary director, Dr Lee Durrell MBE and Dr Nik Cole our Island restoration expert, based in Mauritius.
  • Forum engagements to connect with course participants.
  • Quizzes, discussions and break out group work to maximise your learning potential.
  • Access to additional reading material and resources. 

Download the Course Leaflet

Online structure 

The course runs full time, over a continuous five days, which will require dedicated engagement.

Course materials include live, expert-led lectures, group discussions, activities and individual work. Pre-recorded videos of Durrell case studies will help illustrate the teaching content and provide real life scenarios of global field programmes and captive breeding facilities at Jersey Zoo. 

Training staff at Durrell Conservation Academy will offer 1-2-1 support throughout. You will be given registered access to our online learning platform for pre-course material, additional resources including reading lists, discussion forums and advice for on-going training. 

Who is it for? 

The course is suitable for students and graduates wishing to improve their knowledge [STARTERS] early career individuals [PRACTITIONERS] or those with an active interest in conservation who may be considering a career change [SWITCHERS]. 

A basic understanding of ecology and conservation would be an advantage.  

What is the course content? 

During the course you will be given an introduction to concepts such as:

  • The value and threats to biodiversity
  • Small population biology
  • Current approaches and recent progression in endangered species management 
  • Planning species and ecosystem recovery programmes 
  • The importance of blending captive species management and in-situ conservation
  • The multi-disciplinary requirements of successful ESRs, and requiring action through education and community conservation, fundraising and policy.

Participants will also be introduced to a range of practical research skills and methods for population monitoring. Current case studies of conservation work by Durrell will illustrate how these skills have been applied to save some of the most critically endangered primates, birds, reptiles and amphibians. 

Course learning objectives

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • A deeper understanding  of the principles and practice of species conservation 
  • The perfect foundation in conservation biology 
  • Insight into the key tools and methods needed to effectively plan and implement a conservation project 
  • An expanded professional network to help you develop your own conservation projects
  • The skills to enable a fantastic stepping stone into a conservation career

Course outline 

The course format involves live lectures, discussions, case studies and quizzes. Each day you will have the opportunity for an informal question and answer session.

Pre-Course Material 

The value of and threats to biodiversity 

In order to ensure participants start the course with a similar knowledge base, participants will asked to work through a small number of pre-recorded lectures and reading material. You will learn how to identify and understand the threats driving population declines and biodiversity loss, and understand the value of ecosystem health. Through a brief introduction to small population biology, you will become familiar with the populations and species more vulnerable to threat of extinction, and the role of the IUCN guidelines in assessing these threats and prioritising conservation efforts.

Monday 7 September 

Introduction to Durrell and the key principles of species recovery programmes

Day one will start with an opportunity to get know all of the course participants, key teaching staff, and outline to the on-line course delivery. There will be time to discuss your experiences, expectations and hope for the course. 

Reviewing and building upon the pre-course training material, we will discuss Durrell’s approach to conservation and its ‘Journey of Species Survival’ model. You will learn the key principles of a species recovery project, and how this can be used to develop a suitable project frame-work. Durrell’s staff from across the world will explain how this framework has enabled the successful recovery of species such as Madagascan pochard and the Montserrat mountain chicken frog.

Tuesday 8 September

Practical approaches to ESR, from single species to ecosystem restoration.

Day two focuses on how endangered species recovery programmes draw upon in-situ and ex-situ conservation actions. You will learn the main approaches to conservation in the wild; how threats to species, such as invasive species and human-wildlife conflict can be mitigated or reduced and when reintroduction and translocations may be needed.  Virtual tours will expose you to reptile and amphibian conservation work by Durrell, both in the wild and captivity, learning how the two can be integrated into a species recovery programme. We will consider the idea of species conservation to drive the restoration of ecosystems, such as the use of analogue species, and wide scale conservation initiatives such as the creation of mainland islands. 

Wednesday 9 September 

The role of zoos, and captive breeding as a conservation tool

Day three focuses on the potential ways in which the zoo community can contribute to conservation, and consider how zoos can have a greater conservation impact, particularly through captive breeding – discussing its strengths and weaknesses – and opportunities to understand a species behaviour and ecology. This is exemplified by Durrell’s current husbandry capacity building in Brazil, centred around species like the black lion tamarin.

Thursday 10 September

Principle and methods of population monitoring

Day four explores the principle of population monitoring, what it is, and why it is important, including survey techniques, survey design, and data analysis. Based on decades on Durrell’s experience, you will consider the value of effective monitoring and evaluation and recognise how science informs conservation practice. 

Friday 11 September

Project planning for effective conservation

Day five introduces the importance of effective conservation project planning using the Open Standards approach, from defining your project context to preparing for an exit strategy. You will recognise the importance of progressing towards goals and targets to improve the impact and management of conservation programmes.

The course finishes by considering the wider aspects of conservation as a growing sector, and the many disciplines it needs to include. For ESR programmes to be sustainable, practitioners should incorporate education and community awareness, develop the skills to write attractive funding proposals, and understand how to work alongside policy makers and stakeholders. 

Cost and booking information

The course fee is £450 (special launch price).

The course runs full time, over a continuous five days, which will require dedicated engagement.

The start date for this course is Monday 7 September 2020.

Subject to interest, this course may run multiple times. Every run of a course will have a set start date. If you cannot attend, please enquire for other dates.

For further information or to book a place, please contact +44 (0)1534 860037 or email