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ZOOL418 Conservation Biology of Marine Mammals

The major conservation problems faced by marine mammals, and the scientific methods used to quantify, reduce and avoid such impacts. Case studies are used to study integration of science and management. The paper focuses on science, including the biological features of marine mammals that make them relatively vulnerable (e.g. long-lived, slow reproducing), but also touches on the social and political dimensions of marine mammal conservation.

Paper title Conservation Biology of Marine Mammals
Paper code ZOOL418
Subject Zoology
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,409.28
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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The paper requires a basic background in biology or marine science.
Teaching staff

Associate Professor Bruce Robertson
Dr Will Rayment

Paper Structure
The first part of the paper introduces students to the range of threats to marine mammals, including fishing, whaling, climate change and marine mining. The second half of the paper focuses on scientific tools used to solve these problems. These include population surveys, monitoring bycatch in fisheries, photographic identification of individuals to estimate survival and reproductive rates and molecular techniques. The paper includes two case studies that bring together the threats and scientific tools that have been discussed in detail in the paper.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.

The course material refers to recently published research in scientific journals.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Students will gain an understanding of the ecology and conservation of marine mammals
  • Skills honed during the paper include gathering and analysing information, posing and answering questions about marine mammal conservation and applying knowledge gained to discuss and solve real-life problems
  • Students will also gain an appreciation of the need for and an ability to apply critical thinking, scientific rigour and a systematic approach to science and conservation problems

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system