Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust offers conservation training courses

February 28th, 2011 by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

(click on cover to go to Training programme prospectus download page)

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey is offering a variety of courses between April and December 2011.

Durrell has been running courses in good conservation practice since 1979, when Gerald Durrell created what he called “a mini-university”. We have trained more than 2700 from 128 countries in the management of endangered species and habitat recovery.

Our International Training Centre is based at the headquarters of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in Jersey. Used in conjunction with the resources of our wildlife park, we offer a wide variety of training courses aimed at professionals and enthusiastic amateurs that inspire and promote conservation action.

From 4 to 8 April 2011 Dr. Mark O’Connell, Director of Ecological Research and Training, will lead a course on “An introduction to GIS for conservation managers.”

What is the course content?  At the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the principles of representing the real world in two dimensions
  • Have experience of how raw data are entered into a GIS, how features are linked to quantitative and qualitative attributes, and the key basic GIS operations
  • Be familiar with GIS spatial analyses and modelling
  • Understand how GIS data could be used to underpin future action in their particular part of the conservation sector
  • Understand the time and resource issues associated with GIS


From 18 to 22 April a course is offered on “Facilitation skills for conservation managers.”

During the course you will learn and practise essential workshop facilitation skills, including:

  • Decision making
  • Conflict management
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Group dynamics
  • Active listening
  • Consensus building

Course format involves lectures, case studies and significant amounts of time to practise the facilitation skills discussed within a small group setting. The course is co-directed by senior staff from the International Rhino Foundation.


From 16 to 20 May Harriet Whitford, Supervisor of the Bird Department at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust will lead a course on “Captive care and conservation husbandry of birds.”

The course will include the following topics:

  • Planning your captive bird collection: making the link to the wild
  • Bird behaviour and ecology
  • Enclosure design and management
  • Hand rearing and incubation techniques
  • Record keeping and population management
  • Feeding and nutrition


From 28 to 30 May a course will be run on “The beauty of birds: a beginner’s guide to birds, their natural history and how to study them.”


From 13 to 17 June inclusive Durrell offers a course led by Dr. Eric Jensen of the University of Warwick on “Conservation education and evaluation.”


From 11 to 29 July Durrell’s conservation specialists will lead a course on “Endangered species recovery.”  This course is available as a one week or a three week course.

Each week is divided into the following topics:

  • Week 1: Introduction to wildlife conservation
  • Week 2: Developing skills for conservation biologists
  • Week 3: The future of species conservation


From 5 to 9 September John Fa, Durrell’s Chief Conservation Officer will lead a five day course on “Emerging infectious disease and endangered populations.”

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Anthropogenic change and the emergence of infectious diseases
  • Wildlife exploitation and human health
  • The ecology of infectious diseases
  • Wildlife disease management in humandominated landscapes
  • Zoonotic diseases and their management in zoos


From 26 to 30 September Durrell holds a five day introductory course on “The art of natural history illustration.”

The course will be run by award-winning professional artists, Robert Cook and Mike Clapham and will include talks and behind the scenes tours from the experts at Durrell Wildlife Park.


From 31 October to 4 November Durrell offers a course for graduate students on “Integrated species conservation and management.”  This will be led by academic staff from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent.

What is the course content?  Topics which will be covered include the following:

  • The role of zoos in conservation
  • Extinctions – past and present
  • Indicator, flagship, keystone and umbrella species in conservation
  • Conservation genetics and species conservation
  • Population viability analysis
  • Assessing priorities
  • Iconic communities / islands and highlands
  • The Jersey perspective – field trip
  • Designing species recovery programmes
  • Translocations and reintroductions
  • Balancing in-situ and ex-situ conservation


From 28 November to 2 December Dr Simon Black from DICE at the University of Kent will lead a course on “Project management skills for conservation professionals.”
Sessions will include:

  • Planning conservation projects
  • Monitoring and measuring progress towards achieving goals
  • Creating, motivating and managing teams


Download the Prospectus for a full listing of courses and course details.

If you are interested in any of the courses, or just want further information, please contact Catherine Burrows on catherine.burrows @ durrell.org or call her on +44 (0)1534 860037.

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