Module: Restoration Ecology

As part of the MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management course, this module focuses on an understanding of the vulnerability of ecosystems, habitats and species to the various threats resulting from human activities. It also examines how habitat can both be protected and also restored: from the conservation of salt marshes and dunes, the restoration of wetlands and forests to the development of compensatory landscapes as replacement for habitat lost to development.

The British landscape has been largely modified by human activity over the past 7000 years. Some of these areas contain important habitats and species that do require human intervention. Returning large tracts of this land may result in other species and habitat losses. While restoring the natural heritage of landscapes remains an important conservation objective, the reality is that this requires a range of intervention approaches.

Rewilding is a conservation management approach that looks to restore wilderness areas based on the reintroduction, recovery and protection of species that are instrumental in maintaining the integrity of those ecosystems.

Current examples include the reintroduction of the Eurasian Beaver to Scotland, the potential reintroduction of the Eurasian Lynx to Scotland and even the Eurasian wolf in Germany and France. It can also include the reintroduction of native broadleaf trees to replace conifers and the protection and enhancement of habitat for red squirrels.

 

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