Certificate in Wildlife Conservation

Study wildlife conservation online and understand the importance of conserving threatened species.

Course Code: VEN024
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Learn to Conserve Wildlife 

 Wild animal species are under threat everywhere; from oceans to deserts, and rainforests to grasslands.

Animals are  more important than what most people realize. They are essential to the our ecology in ways that don't always seem obvious; and the importance of conserving wildlife, cannot be over stated.

This course covers many aspects of wildlife conservation to provide students with a foundation knowledge of the importance of conserving threatened species. 

  • Develop an understanding of habitat use
  • Learn about surveying for wildlife,
  • Explore ecological processes 
  • Discover the importance genetic diversity amongst much more.

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Wildlife Conservation.
 Introduction To Ecology BEN101
 Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
 Wildlife Conservation BEN206
 Environmental Assessment BEN301
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 8 modules.
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Ornithology BEN102
 Animal Welfare BAG224
 Carnivore Zoology BEN219
 Genetics BSC207
 Herpetology BEN209
 Primatology (Primate Animals) BEN210
 

Note that each module in the Certificate in Wildlife Conservation is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


WHAT IS COVERED BY THESE MODULES?

Module 1 -
INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY

There are seven lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Ecosystems & Populations
    Components of an ecosystem, Biomes, Detrital & grazing webs, trophic levels, energy flows etc
  2. The Development of Life
    Lifespans, Natural selection, Genetics, Understanding arguments for and against theory of evolution, etc.
  3. Animals, Parasites & Endangered Species
    Comparative anatomy, how animals fit in ecosystems, animals in the human community, parasites, etc
  4. Fungi, Tundra, Rainforests & Marshlands
    Physiology, anatomy, classification and ecology of fungi; Location, the climate, the plant and animal life related to different systems including tundra, marshes and rainforests.
  5. Mountains, Rivers & Deserts
    Formation ecology and importance of mountains (including erosion, volcanoes etc), formation & types of rivers, catchments, dams, deserts and their ecology, etc.
  6. Shallow Waters
    Shore lines, coral reefs, intermediate reefs, estuaries, sandy shores, etc.
  7. Ecological Problems
    The Greenhouse Effect, The Ozone Layer, Poisons & Waste Materials

Module 2 - VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY

The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:

  1. Vertebrate Taxonomy and Diversity
  2. Fishes
  3. Ectotherms: Amphibians and Reptiles
  4. Birds
  5. Overview of Mammals
  6. Marsupials
  7. Mammalian Glires and Insectivora
  8. Carnivores
  9. Hooved Mammals: Ungulata
  10. Primates and other Archonta

Module 3 - WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

The course is divided into nine lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Wildlife Conservation
  2. Recovery of Threatened Species
  3. Habitat Conservation
  4. Approaches to Conservation of Threatened Species
  5. Vegetation Surveys
  6. Fauna Surveys
  7. Marine Conservation
  8. Planning for Wildlife
  9. Managing Threatened Wildlife Populations
  10. Wildlife Conservation Project (PBL)


Module 4 
- ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

There are 8 lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Types of Employment for Environmental Scientists.
  2. Introduction to Environmental Assessment.
  3. International Environmental Law.
  4. Domestic Environmental Law
  5. Types of Environmental Assessments
  6. The Design and Process of Environmental Assessment.
  7. Writing Environmental Reports Research Project
 
Elective Modules
There are a range of options listed, and others may also be acceptable. Here is what is covered by three of them.

ANIMAL WELFARE

 

The course is divided into nine lessons as follows:

  1. Scope and Nature of Animal Welfare
  2. Psychology and Sentience
  3. Managing Animal Welfare
  4. Animal Protection Services
  5. Animal Rescue Services
  6. Animal Health Services
  7. Animal Welfare for Pets, Work Animals and Animals in Sport
  8. Animal Welfare for Farm Animals 
  9. Animal Welfare for Wildlife: Free and Captive

ORNITHOLOGY

The course consists of nine lessons.
  1. Classification & Introduction to Birdwatching.
  2. The Biology of Birds: Anatomy, external & internal structure, breeding, eggs etc.
  3. Common and Widespread Land Birds: Pests, introduced birds, pigeons, crows & their relatives, etc.
  4. Giant Birds & Long Legged Birds: Emu, Ostrich, Herons, Storks & Relatives etc
  5. Seabirds & Waterbirds
  6. Hunters -Birds of Prey, Owls, Kingfishers
  7. Passeriformes
  8. Other Birds Parrots, Honeyeaters, Swifts & others
  9. Attracting, Feeding & Keeping Birds

MARINE LIFE I

This course has 9 lessons as follows:

  1. Marine Ecology Systems
  2. Shallow Waters & Reefs
  3. Shellfish & Crustaceans
  4. Squid, Octopus, and Other Primitive Animals
  5. Fish Part A
  6. Fish Part B
  7. Marine Mammals
  8. Turtles, Sea Snakes and Seabirds
  9. Human Impact on Marine Environments & Fishing

How To Manage the Health of Wild Animals

The diagnosis and treatment of disease in wild animals is much more complex than in domestic animals, therefore preventing the spread of disease is the foundation for any wildlife veterinary program. A wildlife reserve or park should have a program in place that is continuous and is directed at individual animals as well as groups (eg. herds and flocks). This program might include some or all of the following:

  • Quarantine of diseased animals or new animals
  • Intermittent faecal exams (possibly including treatment)
  • Vaccination program
  • Health screening
  • Necropsy (corpse) exams and reporting
  • Comprehensive pest control program.

When animals are transferred from a zoo they should be assessed to comply with relevant health requirements before transfer (local, state and federal).

Parasitic Disease Control
When treating animals for parasite infection, care needs to be taken with drug selection as exotic animals can be sensitive to some medications. Young animals that have been recently transferred are the most vulnerable to disease from parasitic infection. Infections of Giardia, coccidian and other parasites can cause acute diarrhoea.  Amebiasis (intestinal illness) is common in primates and reptiles and can be fatal in susceptible individuals. Animals that are kept in natural enclosures, with dirt substrates or pasture are more susceptible to parasitic infection due to dirt floors can be continually exposed to parasites.

Wildlife parks need to have a comprehensive parasite control program in place for all species. This could include:

  • Good hygiene practices in place and followed by all staff
  • Reduce stress and overcrowding of animals 
  • Quarantine and test any new arrivals for parasites
  • Remove faecal material from enclosures on a regular basis. Clean and disinfect enclosures if necessary.
  • Ensure that water cannot be contaminated with faecal matter or other biological sources
  • Routine treatment for susceptible species. These should be timed to reduce egg output.
  • Monitor faeces of susceptible species by undertaking egg counts.

QUARANTINE
All animals transferred to a collection should go through quarantine beforehand. This should be a separate facility within a park that is able to accommodate different animals. If this facility does not exist animals are required to be isolated in a way to prevent spread of disease or other forms of contamination. Quarantine facilities are designed to allow for handling of the animal as well as cleaning and sanitising of the enclosure.

Quarantine should last for at least 30 days unless otherwise recommended by the veterinarian. A keeper is usually designated to work only with quarantined animals to avoid the possible spread of disease. During quarantine the animal may receive appropriate vaccinations and undergo diagnostic testing. They are examined for potential parasites and screened for pathogens. Faecal matter is also regularly checked for potential parasites. If any are found treatment is prescribed and the animal must show two negative faecal results before leaving quarantine. All of the procedures and results are recorded in the animal’s medical record which becomes a major part of the animal’s veterinary program.

Vaccination
Vaccines are generally available to veterinary staff at zoos however there are no commercially available vaccines that are specific animals. Therefore, vaccinations are not commonly provided in all parks or zoos. Most vaccines used by veterinary staff are designed for domestic or livestock animals. Veterinary staff members have to convert the dosage information from data on non-zoo animals and usually then monitor the effectiveness to provide more accurate dosages later on.

Vaccines can be given either orally or via subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. The latter two are more commonly used in zoos. Before deciding to vaccinate the animals veterinary staff members need to decide whether the risk of vaccination which would require capture and restraint is less than the risk of the animal catching a disease.
 

Working in Wildlife Conservation
Working with Wildlife conservation can include:

  • Wildlife Rescue (eg. with animal shelters)
  • Animal Protection (eg. Enforcement officers, Rangers dealing with poachers, Conservation Societies)
  • Parks Management (eg. wilderness areas, rural, marine parks)
  • Animal Relocation (eg. catching protected wildlife, like snakes, in residential areas) 
  • Animal Survey/ Environmental Assessment
  • Managing Breeding Programs (Zoos, Wildlife Reserves)
  • Research
  • Education
  • Media, Public Relations


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How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
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You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

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We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Alison Pearce (Agri & Animal)

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jon-Paul Dunne

I am a Bioscience postgraduate researcher at Durham university. I have a degree in environmental science and a permaculture design certificate as well as extensive experience in landscape and habitat restoration as well as sustainable food production and self-sufficiency. My key areas of expertise are climate change's causes, impacts and solutions, as well as ecological principles and design.

Sarah Pirecki

BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

Gareth Pearce

B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
Gareth has over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in a variety of colleges and universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the Universities of Melbourne and Bristol, having previously graduated in Agricultural Science and gained a PhD in Livestock Behaviour and Production. He also has post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.

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