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University of Leeds

Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


Do you worry about the effects of climate change on nature?

On this course, you’ll learn you how the work of conservation biologists and study of ecosystems can help with conserving the world’s biodiversity. You’ll explore the impact of wind farms on populations of seabirds, and understand how the use of advanced techniques can be used to study different populations.

In Week 2, you’ll learn about ecosystems and how they’re influenced by human activity. You’ll use case studies to explore the reasons behind the bee decline across the world, and examine fish species in tropical seas to see at first-hand how climate change damages coral reefs.

This course has been ranked as one of the best online courses of all time by online course aggregator class central.

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in ecology and wildlife.

It will be particularly useful for students at high school who want to study conservation biology, zoology, or biology at university level.

The course is part of the Going to University collection and completing it can help improve your university application by broadening your understanding of wildlife conservation and developing your independent learning skills. The course can also be used as a teachers’ classroom enrichment resource.


  • Biological aspects of conservation
    • Welcome
    • Conserving life on Earth
    • Case study: Seabirds and windfarms
    • Population biology and conservation
    • Summary
  • Ecosystem resilience
    • About Week 2
    • What is an ecosystem?
    • How do ecosystems respond to change?
    • Technology in conservation
    • Summary

Taught by

Chris Thompson


4.5 rating, based on 130 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 290 ratings

Start your review of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

  • Anonymous
    it was wonderful and awe inspiring course to take for almost for two weeks and learnt so many things regarding ecology and wildlife conservation. some of the important things to take from this course is human are the main cause of environmental degradation and anthropogenic activities should be lessen to curb and mitigate further loss of our pristine environment.
  • Anonymous
    I just finished this course and I must admit that I did like it a lot for actually focusing on the subject and not on scoring a high number or letter grade per each part (leaving that just for the end test). But there are two issues I have plus one…
  • Anonymous
    Whilst this course does provide some good information, I think that the short length of this course does not allow for a fuller extent of the topic of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation to be explored- what about a case study of a particular ecosyste…
  • This is course is really more than amazing, the case studies and the activities were so much helpful and enjoyable. ^_^

    I really wish if they make another course to continue learning ^_^
  • Profile image for Sither Gyeltshen
    Sither Gyeltshen
    it was wonderful and awe inspiring course to take for almost for two weeks and learnt so many things regarding ecology and wildlife conservation. some of the important things to take from this course is human are the main cause of environmental degradation and anthropogenic activities should be lessen to curb and mitigate further loss of our pristine environment.
  • Anonymous
    I think this course is really interesting and fun, I got to learn about things I like to learn about like pollinators and coral reefs, and before starting the course I was curious about the effects of windfarms on seabirds since I hadn't heard much…
  • Anonymous
    A suitably detailed course as a refresher or to introduce the topic to a beginner. Pitched at a level suitable for many approaches.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it!
  • Anonymous
    I have been reading and practicing Wildlife Conservation since 1991, as a volunteer at 'Green Turtle Environmental Centre.'

    This course has broadened my outlook towards ecology and so forth.
  • Anonymous
    Ecology and wildlife conservation are critical issues for all of us because of the importance of biodiversity for human wellbeing. This short course provides a basic primer to appreciating and understanding ecology and wildlife conservation. It is e…
  • Anonymous
    I ve enjoyed this course .... one of several that Ive taken on similar topics; by design it is brief, an overview, an appetite whetter! makes it very accessible indeed (I did it to fill in a gap between two other courses that I d signed up for). exc…
  • Anonymous
    I found this course really interesting and challenging. I had some preconceptions which were wrong! Learning is great for this. I have studied before on FutureLearn. I studied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was a great introduction. This course, Ecology and Conservation was a brilliant second course for me.

    I will continue to study with FutureLearn. It has a wide range of really relevant courses and the presentations are engaging.

    Ecology and Conservation is definitely a starting point from which I want to learn.

    Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    I just completed Ecology and Wildlife Conservation and I absolutely loved it. The course offers some great practical exercises and the chance to study field studies that really give you a feel for what is involved in the work of a conservation biologist. The professors were great and structure of the course was nicely paced and easy to understand. It was an all together amazing experience and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get a basic idea of what is involved in the conversation of the environment and the wildlife that inhabits our planet
  • Luciana
    If you are interested in the environment, ecology, sustainability, or animal kingdom, I'd like to recommend you apply to this course, and then enjoy your path! The content is very high quality and the professional in charge so he is as well! The content of the terms and topics was informative and straightforward for me, so I enjoyed pretty much it. I hope to bump him into another course!
  • Anonymous
    Overall, very good course. I enjoyed getting to play around with real data figures and making conclusions from them. The design and presentation is very nice, and I like how it encourages you to write a comment at each stage in order to actively participate.
    However, I didn't really learn many new things. I learnt most of this content in secondary school (high school) and I guess I was just hoping for something a little more in depth.
    But, still a good introduction for people with little knowledge on the subject!
  • Anonymous
    This course is very academic and way beyond the general knowledge of someone wanting to learn about conservation. The material was data and more data. The quiz questions expected scientific reasoning to get an answer based on possible evidence. Be aware.
    Go through the course first before you upgrade.
    Repeat. AVOID.
  • David Stuart Hinley
    This was a really engaging and enjoyable course with a diverse range of case studies from around the world. I learnt so much from the other course participants as well as from the course itself. It has certainly re-ignited my interest in ecology and wildlife conservation and I look forward to discovering and undertaking more courses.
  • Anonymous
    Generally the course was very accessible & described the core areas of ecological study clearly. Although mostly easy to understand, pitched at a pre university level, I did have to go off site for a better explanation of the important concepts of Resistance & Resilience.
    I thought it failed to emphasis that to fully comprehend an ecological process one needs first to acquire a comprehensive zoological understanding of the organisms involved.
    Input or response from a course admin would have helped gauge the quality of respondents comments. Perhaps post course follow-up with quality sample answers.
    Two weeks just whetted my appetite- I was certainly left wanting more!
  • Profile image for Helaynea Croke
    Helaynea Croke
    This course was very interesting. Coming from a science background this was a great refresher, but would be great for anyone wanting to learn more about ecology and conservation. I liked the use of multi-media and activities, it made the course really enjoyable.
  • Меруерт
    Курс был очень тематичным и думаю пригодиться для студентов и коллегам по специальности Экология. Узнала много нового по Дикой природы.
  • Anonymous
    The fact that the course made it clear that ‘progress’ and conservation can go hand in hand was the most valuable part. It’s important to make people aware that it can be a win-win rather than a one or the other situation. If anyone is even remotely thinking (or not!) about a career in biology and wildlife conservation, then this taster will dispel any doubts. It’s a very good introduction for the lay person and enthusiast alike. The combination of theory, real case studies and just the right number of exercises helps understanding and facilitates the assimilation of ideas. I’m very tempted to get out there and perform my own FIT study!

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