SFS 3131: Marine Megafauna Ecology and Conservation

4 CreditsBiological SciencesEnvironment

In this course, we will explore the ecological importance and conservation status of megafauna that are prominent in the coastal waters of the tropics, namely elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), large oceanic and reef fishes, marine and coastal reptiles (sea turtles, island iguanas), and marine mammals. The course will consist of lectures, workshops and field-based activities that provide students with an understanding of the diversity and ecological characteristics of these animals. Furthermore, the workshops and field activities will introduce students to the practical techniques that are commonly employed to study and assess megafauna. The course will take place on the island of South Caicos, which is at a pivotal time in its development. Until recently, the island’s economy centered around small-scale local fisheries, but a growing tourism industry and recent devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria have meant major changes to the community and marine ecosystem. As climate events continue to perturb the marine environment and the economy and the population grow and diversify, so too do the demands on the marine environment. Marine megafauna play important roles in the TCI, both ecologically and economically, making this the perfect place to take a deep dive into their characteristics, threats, and conservation.

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B+ Average (3.498)Most Common: A- (54%)

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