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South Africa Wildlife Conservation 

Behavioral Ecology

Behavioral Ecology

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course explores the realms of ultimate predators, both above and below the surface. It highlights some of the challenges faced by predators in their daily struggle to find food. During the initial stage of the course we come face to face with the sleek form of the great white shark, perhaps Earth's most successful predator. We them move on to observing some of the largest predators, the whales in Hermanus. During these amazing observations, lectures accompanying the focus of the day will be given to broaden students' awareness of the topics at hand. The main focus then lands on the greatest migration on earth, the sardine run. After following them for a while we then find ourselves land based for the final section. While living at a wildlife sanctuary, work and learn alongside conservationists, researchers and veterinarians as they strive to rescue, rehabilitate and provide sanctuary for Africa’s endangered creatures including giraffes, zebras, rhinos and elephants.

Microscope
“This trip really broadened my understanding of conservation. It was great getting to know the people in my group, but also learning about new cultures and issues facing different places. ” — Kaitlyn Noe, Clarksburg, WV

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  • Learn research methods used by biologists to understand animal behavior, ecology and conservation
  • Explore the biology, behavior, natural history and ecology of South African wildlife
  • Learn about the conservation threats to predators as a whole and strategies for mitigating those threats
  • Be able to relate the conservation threats facing predators in South Africa to those faced by different animals in ecosystems throughout the world

LECTURE TOPICS

  • Overview of predators in South Africa
  • The perception of sharks and migration patterns
  • Social behavior
  • Feeding ecology and ranging behavior
  • Introduction to conservation
  • Africa's wildlife
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Extinction biology
  • 'Kids Saving the Game Animals' (guest lecture)
  • Conservation strategies

FIELD STUDIES & EXERCISES

  • Marine life identification
  • Boat trips to observe 'the sardine run'
  • Boat trips to observe great white sharks
  • Shark dissections
  • Safari game drives
  • Wildlife rehabilitation project
  • Safari habitat conservation project

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At a Glance

South Africa Wildlife Conservation
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Community Service & Academics
  • 35 Hours
  • 3 Credits
College Credit
  • 3 natural science Credits
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