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Qualification - Proficiency Award in Nature Park Management

Course CodeBEN215
Fee CodePA
Duration (approx)500 hours
QualificationProficiency Award

Nature Park Management is an important area of study. 

Nature parks are usually undeveloped or semi-developed areas of land that are preserved for conservation purposes. They also give people the chance to get out in the open, breath some fresh air, commune with nature and learn more about the natural world.  Ecotourism and natural activities are a growth area as more and more people want to spend time outdoors. This course can provide you with a great leap in your career working in nature park management.  The course consists of three 100 hour modules. You study Nature Park Management I and II. Then choose a third elective from a comprehensive list that enables you to target your course on your own interests.  Options include Ecotour Management, Marine Studies, Ornithology and much more. 

To complete the qualification, you are also required to complete a 200 hour industry project/work experience. More information below.

If you would like to work in nature park management as a paid worker or volunteer, or improve your job prospects in your existing job, this course is a great start.

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Proficiency Award in Nature Park Management.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 Nature Park Management I BEN120
 Nature Park Management II BEN207
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 13 modules.
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Ecotour Management BTR101
 Introduction To Ecology BEN101
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Ornithology BEN102
 Workplace Health & Safety VBS103
 Zoology -Vertebrate BEN104
 Conservation & Environmental Management BEN201
 Practical Horticulture 1 BHT238
 Weed Control BHT209
 Wildlife Management BEN205
 Ecotourism Tour Guide Course BTR301
 Environmental Assessment BEN301
 

Note that each module in the Qualification - Proficiency Award in Nature Park Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Managing Wildlife Populations around Human Populations

The population and diversity of both domestic animals and wildlife can have a great impact on land management and sustainability of environments.  

During the early settlement of new countries, particular wild animals were disposed of when it was evident that crops and domestic animal stocks were being damaged. This was carried out through trapping, culling and poisoning.
 
Another problem that has occurred in recently colonised countries is associated with the escape of introduced domestic animals on the native environment. Feral animals have often run wild in countries where their predators are limited. Examples of this can be seen in Australia where goats, buffaloes, pigs, foxes, horses, camels and rabbits have wreaked havoc. These great changes in numbers have brought about serious depletion of both fauna and flora and devastating effects on grazing land.
 
Rotational grazing is a method which has allowed for regeneration of important plant species and improve pasture production. This is carried out by planning the property into appropriate sized paddocks containing well distributed available water, and moving the stock after fixed periods of time in a way to limit overgrazing.

Finding a balance of sustainable farming and stock grazing with wildlife management continues to be a concern. Because of the lack of research, it is not well known if the wildlife populations are more affected by hunting and poisoning than the destruction of their natural habitats.

Property planning has been carried out with the guidance of government bodies to boost habitat development.  Steps put in place are: fencing off recovery areas and allowing for natural regeneration, planting trees and shrubs in designated habitat areas and retention of existing protective habitats.  Integration of these steps can be difficult with rural/farming production, as there can be conflicts between crops, farm animals and wildlife.

Controlling feral animals is also an ongoing issue, particularly when trying to boost populations of small mammals and ground-dwelling birds.  

There is also a concern about some wildlife populations that have increased to very large populations, causing major pressure on cattle and sheep grazing operations.  There can be controversy on the culling of these large populations of wildlife e.g. deer in Scotland and kangaroos in Australia, but uncontrolled numbers can have disastrous effects on grazing.  

To increase numbers of birds and insects – biodiversity of plant and animal species need to be considered.  

Wildlife corridors between native bush/habitats have been given special attention when planning roads, fencing and property development. For example, koala crossings between wildlife corridors over highways.

As in any management system there are going to be pros and cons. For instance, the benefits of a wildlife corridor are to either maintain or increase species numbers and diversity. The corridor will allow for the movement of animals and all over re-colonisation of areas of previous extinction.  On the other hand, the corridors have the ability to spread particular population diseases between habitats, provide access to animals by external predators and if poorly designed could possibly cause local extinctions and population/genetic limitations.  

Urban Settings
Urban residents should be able to identify common wildlife species to discern whether they are a problem or not.  They need to know why these species are inhabiting the backyard environments to gain an understanding on how successful interactions between people and wildlife can occur. Examples of common wildlife species in urban areas are foxes, snakes and feral cats.

Creating Habitat Corridors For Wildlife

Large areas of indigenous vegetation have been cleared for housing, agriculture, industry, and other uses, greatly reducing habitat for native wildlife. Many of the remaining native vegetation fragments are small and isolated from one another by barriers such as open pasture, housing, roads, and water bodies (e.g. dams). These are sometimes known as “island” habitats.

Wildlife constantly moves around:

  • Looking for food - new sources, seasonal availability
  • Looking for shelter/protection
  • Searching for mates
  • Dispersal of young to new ranges

In island habitats there may be no adjacent habitat to forage in, or to disperse along. Island communities:

  • Are vulnerable to catastrophic events, such as pests, diseases, clearing, bush fires or wild fires, and to gradual changes, such as inbreeding or climatic variation.
  • May not provide all the resources a species requires (e.g. food, water, shelter/protection and breeding).

Links between such isolated communities would:

  • Allow migration to replenish a declining wildlife population (increasing numbers giving better chance for some to survive and reduce inbreeding).
  • Allow re-colonisation where a species may have become locally extinct (extend the local range).

 

What Next?

Do you want to work in nature parks?

Do you want to get outdoors, help nature and encourage people to get involved in the great outdoors?

Do you want to help to conserve nature and protect essential habitats?

Do you want to improve your existing job prospects within this field?

This course shows that you are committed to learning more about nature parks and their management. It shows you have the self-discipline to study AND the enthusiasm and passion to want to learn more about nature parks.

Our highly experienced and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.

If this sounds like you and you want to learn more, why not enrol today and get started?