Unit # 1
Understanding Wildlife and Conservation Management
This first unit explores the concepts of wildlife management and conservation in an African context, including the major issues and challenges faced by African wildlife managers. This unit studies the major ecological crises affecting African wildlife, including the conservation threats to African predators and African apes.
Unit # 2
Social and Economic Impacts of Wildlife Management in Africa
Some of the strategies employed are discussed, along with a comparison of their success or failures. This unit includes an evaluation of the social and economic impacts of wildlife management in Africa.
African Wildlife & Conservation Management Course
The Wildlife Management course is relevant to those who work in wildlife conservation & management – particularly in the African context. It is also of relevance to those wanting to volunteer or work in the various aspects of Wildlife Management and Conservation in Africa.
The course explores the significant issues and challenges faced by African wildlife managers and the various strategies currently in place and the economic impacts of wildlife management in an African context.
African Wildlife & Conservation Management
The adaptations and specialisations of the African predators have evolved to enable them to obtain sufficient food and live long enough to mate and pass on their genes, while also competing successfully with other predators. However, despite millions of years of evolution to get the predators to the form that we see them in today, they have not yet been able to evolve mechanisms to escape the pressure placed on their populations by human development. Whether by direct persecution (e.g. hunting, trapping or poisoning) or indirectly via loss of habitat or prey, many African predators are threatened with extinction. Providing safe areas in the form of game reserves or National Parks may assist in the conservation of some species, but not others. Competition between predator species necessitates that reserves stock only appropriate numbers of each predator species so that the prey base supports all predators present. This often means that weaker competitors, such as the African wild dog or cheetah, are present in much lower numbers than lions or Spotted hyenas. Likewise, the migratory or roaming nature of some predators means that they will not stay within the boundaries of the reserve. Furthermore, fragmentation of populations that are restricted to fenced reserves has implications for the survival of those populations. Genetic diversity may be reduced and the natural dispersal of young animals prohibited. These problems can lead to increased disease susceptibility or other problems associated with inbreeding, as well as increased territorial disputes between residents and juveniles that are prevented from dispersing. Wetlands are often drained for agricultural use or human settlements. The loss of these areas poses particular problems for many predators, including loss of priming hunting grounds. The several is one such species that is primarily affected by the loss of wetlands. The destruction of habitat, hunting of game species (e.g. antelope, gazelle, zebra, buffalo, etc.) or alteration of land for human use has resulted in significant declines in the prey populations relied upon by many African predators. This has forced the predators to move away from certain areas or to resort to taking livestock from farmlands. In some areas, the loss of prey has resulted in localised extinction of some predator species. These issues and more are explored in this 2 unit wildlife management course.