93361 - Basis of Biological Conservation (6 CFU)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has an overall view on the state of the earth's environments, its resources and its biodiversity, as well as the problems resulting from anthropogenic impacts. Furthermore, the student acquires notions about the conservation methods of species and environments at risk and the related problems.

Course contents

Brief history of the conservation of biological diversity. Diversity of global species, biomes and ecosystems. Spatial and temporal gradients of biodiversity. Importance of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems, ecosystem services and global health. Notes on the methods for quantifying biodiversity. Threats to Earth’s biological diversity, mass extinctions and global changes. Processes of overexploitation, degradation and contamination of habitats. Conservation methods of species, communities and ecosystems. Social, economic and political elements for biological conservation. National and international organizations for biological conservation. National and international strategies and case studies, protected areas, ecological corridors, rewilding and other approaches to biological conservation.


Cazzolla Gatti, R. 2014. Biodiversità in teoria e in pratica, LibreriaUniversitaria, Padova

Primack R.B., Boitani L., 2013. Biologia della Conservazione. Zanichelli, Bologna

Teaching methods

Lectures (in Italian), seminars (in English) and discussion groups (outdoors).

Assessment methods

Type of assessment: Written test for the first examination session and oral tests for all subsequent sessions.

Type of questions: open questions.

Description of the assessment: The written test and oral tests aim to evaluate the student's acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge of the topics discussed during the course and the ability to use this knowledge to understand the main topics related to issues in conservation biology.

Teaching tools

Presentations of lectures, video-documentary material, scientific publications, international reports and specialized websites provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Cazzolla Gatti