Dr. Sarah McKenzie
Introduction to Themes and Scope of the Course
This practical course enables students to survey the wild plants and animals which occur in the 600 acre Herstmonceux Castle grounds. The theory of habitat and species survey techniques will be explained and students will put this into practice each week during the course. Analysis of the data gathered and critical evaluation of methods is an important part of the course. The information collected will help to build a data base of the ecology of Herstmonceux Castle grounds. This helps inform future management strategies.
Indication of work load
Students will be expected to study for an average of two hours per week, but this will increase when writing field reports.
Expected Learning Outcomes
Assessment Requirements (and percentages) for this course
|Fieldwork report 1||20%|
|Fieldwork report 2||30%|
|Presentation on habitat management||20%|
Lecture titles for each week
Each week there will be a lecture(1 hr 20 mins) introducing the topic followed by a practical exercise in the field (3 hrs) and a final data interpretation/discussion class session (1 hr 20 mins)
Week 1 Small mammal survey techniques
Week 2 Hole-nesting birds
Week 3 Hole-nesting bird parasites
Week 4 Dead wood invertebrates + small mammal survey
Week 5 Dragonfly survey techniques
Week 6 Moth survey techniques
Recommended reading and web sites
Core text book: Wheater, C. P. Cook, P. A. and Bell, J.R. 2011 Practical Field Ecology - A project guide. Wiley-Blackwell.
|Week 1||Core text pp 225-227|
|The Mammal Society- Species Hub http://www.mammal.org.uk/node/30|
|Week 2||Core text pp 213-215|
|The Nest Record Scheme http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nrs|
Mazgajski, T.D. 2007 Effect of of nest material on nest site selection and breeding parameters in secondary hole nesters – a review.
|ACTA ORNITHOLOGICA Vol 42 (2007) no.1 - Available on Moodle|
|Week 4||Kirby, P. 2001 Habitat management for invertebrates: a practical handbook. RSPB Management Guides. pp 27-29|
|Week 5||Smallshire, D and Swash, A. 2004 Britain’s Dragonflies 2nd edition pp 8-9|
|Week 6||Core text pp 167-171|
|Sussex Moth group trapping guide: http://www.sussexmothgroup.org.uk/trapping.php|