This African Ecology course module explores the fundamental principles of wildlife ecology and provides illustrations and examples of habitats, biomes, ecosystems and food chains within an African setting.
Module 2 explores the ecological crises facing parts of Africa.
(Course cost is all inclusive of tutoring fees, assessments, materials and course registration)
Due to the complexities of interactions between components of an ecosystem and food web, interference at any level (e.g. from pollution, extinction of a species, overpopulation of a species, loss of vegetation) can have devastating effects on the ecosystem and all the organisms within it. As an example, currently vultures in Southern Africa are facing extinction. Vultures are key scavenger species in the ecosystem as they act to clean up the environment. They rapidly dispose of large carcasses that would otherwise be left to rot and potentially transfer disease. The vultures also play an important role in nutrient cycling, as well as alerting other predators to the presence of a carcass, indirectly assisting them to find food. Vultures are being targeted by humans for use in traditional medicines as well as being persecuting due to their bad reputation as vermin. There are two types of ecological crises; one is human-induced and the other is caused by natural events. Broadly speaking an ecological crisis defines a situation where an environment is changed in a way that destabilises the ecosystem to the point that the survival of species and/or populations is threatened with extinction. This course explores african wildlife ecology and the ecological crisis facing some parts of africa.