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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 125 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 272 ratings

Start your review of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

  • 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 detail...
  • 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 ^_^
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 ecosystem...
  • Меруерт
    Курс был очень тематичным и думаю пригодиться для студентов и коллегам по специальности Экология. Узнала много нового по Дикой природы.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course. Very informative. It had lots of really great activities which illustrate different aspects of ecology and conservation. So many topics were covered from wind farms to coral reefs. Galapagos Islands to endangered species.
  • Profile image for Kero Mina
    Kero Mina
    This course is a beginning to understand the threats of the ecosystem and how to study an ecosystem and try conserve the spices from human activities which threat spices

    I enjoyed the links in this course there were useful for me

    The study cases were good

    I enjoyed this course and I hope to be useful for everyone
  • 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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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
    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!
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course for anyone wanting to begin their journey in understanding and being involved in ecology and wildlife conservation.

    Up to date examples of conservation in action and how human beings can effect change.

    I would encourage anyone who is concerned about the health of our planet to take this course.

    As Margaret Mead said : “don’t think a small group of awakened individuals cannot change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that has. “
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course, very well organised and with great resources and research. I particularly liked the bioacoustics study, listening to the pollinator sounds in different locations. I feel like I have learned a lot in just two weeks and this course has inspired me to learn more about ecology and wildlife conservation. This is probably my favourite course so far on Future Learn. Thanks so much!
  • 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
    I loved the course. It was an entirely new subject for me and I really enjoyed the reading and research. I found some of it challenging, but that might be my age (77.)!!!!! I was devastated to fail the last test, only scoring 60%. This meant I didnt...
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Anonymous
    Interesting short course with varied subject matter to explore. Nicely presented and easy to digest. Some of the online materials didn't work but there were always work arounds to use. I would recommend to anyone wanting to start a journey in conservation or ecology.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 easy...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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). excellent...

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