Wildlife Tourism and Conservation Management
The NWU has a unique mixture of expertise in Tourism, Zoology, Botany and Economics in one entity which is ideally suited for this course. The programme serves as an extension of TREES’s internationalisation programme and serves as a vehicle to attract foreign Masters’ and PhD students. It will position the North-West University as a leading wildlife tourism and conservation training entity. Mostly foreign students participate, which implies that they have a limited understanding of the concepts of private ownership of wildlife and the importance of wildlife tourism and sustainable use as financial foundations to conservation. The Rhinoceros dilemma is also put into perspective through lectures and hands-on activities at a rhino research facility.
This 22 day study programme is structured around personal hands-on experiences by participants and supporting lectures by various experts in their respective fields of discipline. Facilities and institutions visited include national and provincial parks, private other nature reserves, wildlife rehabilitation facilities and academic institutions and relevant Non-Governmental Organisations.
Learning assumed to be in place:
Basic knowledge of Ecology/ Biology/ Economics and Wildlife Tourism.
Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria:
|Understand the unique concepts of wildlife management in southern Africa through the application of ecologically sustainable principles.||Compile a draft management protocol for a private wildlife reserve|
|Understand the role that humans play in conservation, as a result of reaping the benefits of their input and protection of nature and tapping in on the tourism industry.||Analyse the benefits of the sustainable use of natural resources, both consumptive and non-consumptive, to local communities and game ranchers.|
|Become knowledgeable about the huge pressures on the natural environment by both humans and wildlife through population dynamics and industry.||List the sensitive habitats that are threatened by unregulated human habitation and industrial expansion and the enviromental impacts these have.|
|Acquire awareness of the reality of modern-day issues threatening the survival of species on the African continent and the human emotion that moves the emphasis away from scientifically sound principles applied with great success in the past.||Determine to what extent do emotions and skewed perceptions created by sensational journalism in many cases influence pragmatic wildlife conservation and ecotourism-based scientific principles.|
|Acquire hands-on knowledge of the natural surroundings, animal behaviour, signs of the wild and survival skills in Southern Africa.||Field assessments of skills transfer of animal behaviour, signs of the wild and survival skills in Southern Africa.|
|Understand that there are wildlife diseases that affect domestic animals of rural communities because of the proximity of wildlife.||Document cases behind the red-line where cattle have been infected by TB or Foot-and-Mouth disease due to wildlife breaking through elephant damaged fences.|
|To know how to perform basic operations with Excel spreadsheets.||Draw graphs and diagrams using Excel and insert these graphs and diagrams into Word.|
|Understand the effects of diseases in free roaming wildlife and how to monitor these and prevent the spread by using ecological principles and barriers.||Compile a datasheet of the natural distribution range of those species that are most likely to infect domestic stock.|
|Know how to handle and care for various wild animals in a captive, quarantine and/or rehabilitation facility.||At completion of the capture and care module, summarise the important dos and don’ts when caring for wildlife in a captive environment|
|Be able to assist in the capture of wildlife.||At completion of the wildlife capture module, describe how certain species should be captured and the relevant capture drugs to be used.|
Formative assessment will take place throughout, but no summative assessment will be conducted.
Method of assessment:
This will be done through a written essay, oral discussion, and practical skills testing.
H32 100 1
Mode of delivery:
International and South African participants in Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Tourism, Conservation Economics ,Animal Science, Pre-veterinary and Veterinary Sciences as well as students at Tertiary Academic Institutions in any of the above fields of study who are currently enrolled for studies (degree) or who have already obtained a degree in the above mentioned fields of study.