The course provides a working knowledge of animal behavior; how animals behave and the ways in which this relates to wildlife. To effectively manage and understand the needs of wildlife, we must understand what affects the decisions that animals make and what influences key behaviors such as finding food, courtship, reproduction and migration. Ecology, evolution, physiology and neurobiology all influence behavior and the course uses examples from these sub-disciplines to illustrate how behavior is generated and adapted to the current environment. The class is oriented around presentations and discussions of current scientific understanding of animal behavior. There is a small lab component to the course where students run their own behavior projects.
Whether we interact with farmed animals, wild animals or captive reared animals bred for research or for reintroductions, there is a growing interest in their welfare. What do animals need to promote good welfare and well-being? To find answers we need to devise experiments that determine what animals want and what they find aversive. This allows us to find ways to decrease fear and stress associated with handling and captivity. Using a combination of lectures, group work and discussions the course considers philosophical positions on animal use (covering aspects such as rights-based views versus utilitarian views) and the history of ethical debate over the interactions that humans have with other species. It also covers the current social, economic, and legal developments related to animal welfare and animal ethics. Practical issues of animal welfare and animal ethics in wildlife management, conservation, agriculture and animal research are also discussed.
Fall semester, Meeting Times/Locations Tuesday/Thursday: 9:05pm - 10:20am, ASI 110