Animal Behaviour in Conservation

This online course covers human-induced environmental change, human-wildlife conflict, and reintroductions, all of which are relevant to rewilding efforts. Participants will learn how to develop behavior-based conservation plans to promote the success of conservation programs.

About this course

As our world becomes increasingly human-dominated, how can we learn to live alongside wildlife? Wageningen University & Research’s ‘Introduction to Animal Behaviour’ course has produced a follow-up that explores this question. By taking the course, you can gain the knowledge and tools needed to evaluate how humans are affecting different species, and how to design more effective conservation strategies using behavioural principles. Don’t miss out – enroll today.

Course details

Learning mode
Short course
5 weeks
Time investment
4–6 hours per week
Starting date
Registration date
Open for enrolment

What you’ll learn

The course is divided into five modules, covering topics such as Human-Induced Rapid Environmental Change, Human-Wildlife Conflict, and Reintroductions and Translocations. You will learn about key animal behavior concepts, the challenges facing animals, and how to search for species-specific information relevant to conservation. Through a series of assignments, you will develop a behavior-based conservation action plan and learn how to evaluate its expected suitability, feasibility, and social acceptability.

You will learn how to connect key animal behavior concepts to relevant conservation challenges. You’ll understand how animals use behavior to mitigate anthropogenic threats and recognize which behavioral traits can serve as threat and management indicators. By studying successful examples of behavior-based conservation management, you’ll be equipped to design your own basic species action plan that incorporates a behavior-based conservation action. Throughout the course, we’ll provide you with relevant resources to find species-specific information on biology and conservation challenges, so you can apply your knowledge of animal behavior in conservation to real-world scenarios.

  • Connect animal behavior concepts to conservation challenges
  • Understand how animals use behavior to mitigate threats
  • Recognize behavioral traits that indicate threats and inform management
  • Learn from successful examples of behavior-based conservation management
  • Design a basic species action plan that includes behavior-based conservation actions
  • Access relevant resources for species-specific information on biology and conservation challenges

Course partners

Course outline

Are you concerned about the impact of climate change, habitat destruction, and overexploitation on biodiversity? Wild animals are facing threats from the growing human population and our increasing consumption rate, and over 40,000 species are currently threatened with extinction.

But don’t worry – there’s hope!

Animal Behavior in Conservation

Developed by the creators of the popular MOOC ‘Introduction to Animal Behaviour‘, the course focuses on animal behavior in conservation. By taking the ‘conservation behavior’ perspective, you’ll gain the knowledge and tools needed to address major conservation challenges, such as environmental change, human-wildlife conflict, and wildlife reintroductions.

Design Innovative Interventions

We’ll explore key concepts from animal behavior and apply them to practical wildlife conservation issues. Through informative knowledge clips, case studies, interviews, and practical assignments, you’ll learn how you can use animal behavior in conservation to effectively monitor threats, increase your understanding of the diverse responses to environmental change, and design innovative interventions.

Real-Life Success Stories

Such behavior-sensitive management has led to successful conservation interventions, such as:

  • A wind farm with technology warning for migrating birds decreased soaring bird mortality to zero with a shutdown period of only 0.2–1.2%.
  • A livestock grazing strategy avoiding cheetah communication hubs reduced livestock losses with 86%.
  • A mammal translocation program taking neighbor relations into account led to 24 times more offspring for translocated individuals.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is perfect for professionals working with wildlife who want to build their understanding of how animal behavior mediates the impact of anthropogenic threats on animal populations. It’s also great for students of wildlife conservation or animal behavior who want to expand their knowledge into a complementary field.

So, whether you’re a wildlife conservation practitioner, a student in environmental or animal sciences, or simply someone with a general interest in animal behavior or conservation, we’d love for you to join us on this exciting journey toward sustainable coexistence with wildlife.