Course Content and Outcome Guide for BMZA 250

Course Number:
BMZA 250
Course Title:
Conservation Biology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores the challenges of declining biodiversity and examines the role of zoos in contributing to population and habitat conservation. Provides field experience with species conservation programs. Prerequisites: BMZA 101. 201, 202, 203. Department permission required. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Articulate clearly and support actively the concept of wildlife conservation in both personal and
    professional environments.
  • Apply appropriate conservation measures to various captive and natural environments, based on an analysis and understanding of current issues, historical perspective, and field experience.
  • Inform and improve professional practice through the analysis of historical records of reintroductions of species to the wild.


Course Activities and Design

The format for this course is traditional lecture presentations plus demonstration and laboratory experience in conservation biology. Lecture will be presented utilizing a variety of multimedia and interactive presentations. Laboratory experiences will be largely hands-on, team based, collaborative experiences involving instruction primarily at the Rock Creek campus and projects at field sites.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Produce a term paper describing, comparing and contrasting methods of conservation biology as practiced in the field and with captive populations.
  • Participate in and contribute to all class and team discussions and activities.
  • Complete homework assignments and projects.
  • Complete all scheduled examinations.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Threats to wildlife and the efforts to protect them in their native environments and in captive settings.
  • Specific roles of zoos and zoo keepers in sustaining healthy, stable, genetically-viable captive populations for future generations.


  • Threats to maintaining stable populations in the wild €“ including habitat destruction, climate change, poaching, bush-meat and pet trades
  • Strategies for dealing with these threats
  • The role of zoos in maintaining stable, self-maintaining breeding populations of animals while ensuring genetic diversity


  • Ensuring human welfare while maintaining biodiversity
  • Maintaining written and electronic records of captive populations their management and husbandry


  • Critical analytical abilities
  • Clear, effective communication orally and in writing
  • Maintaining accurate and complete electronic and written records