Students from the University of Southern Denmark just returned from a one-week intensive course on Species Conservation – a key element to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals learning about the complexity of species conservation led by Species360 Director of Science Prof. Dalia A. Conde and supported by Species360 members Dr. Johanna Staerk, Dr. Morgane Tidiere, and research assistant Rikke Øgelund Nielsen.
This year’s students discussed issues related to keeping marine mammals under human care, faming of CITES listed species focusing on tigers and trade bans of wild animals.
“I learnt a lot more in depth about a range of topics, which gives me the possibility to make more educated decisions. I want to change the world even more now than I did before the course (though I really wanted to change it already)” – Comment from anonymous student
Students were able to get really close to many species of conservation concern including reptiles and amphibians when visiting the Terrarium in Vissenbjerg and mammals in a “Behind the Scenes” tour at Givskud Zoo; both institutions are sponsor-partners of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance. They learned about the importance of zoo conservation work from Morten Jørgensen, Jonas Caspersen, Richard Østerballe, Kim Simonsen and CSA member Rikke Øgelund Nielsen. The students were as well introduced to in situ conservation visiting a reintroduction project for the natterjack toad at Refsvindinge Natur og Kulturcenter on the island of Fynen, Denmark by former CSA student Caroline Pedersen in collaboration with our sponsor Copenhagen Zoo.
Current conservation issues were presented by experts who spoke to us from four continents including Debbie Banks, expert on tiger farming from the Environmental Investigation Agency, Michael ‘t Sas Rolfes, researcher at the Oxford Martin school talking about trade bans, Brad Andrews, Director Humane Conservation at American Humane and Emeritus Chief Zoological Officer for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment talking about marine mammals, Dr. Dan Natusch, Director of EPIC Biodiversity presenting about tiger farming, and Dr. Chris R. Shepherd, Executive Director at Monitor Conservation Research Society who works on wildlife trade issues.
“Take the course! This was the best course I have ever had and I am not even a conservation biologist” – Comment from anonymous student