Animal Management trip to Jersey
Our Hadlow College Animal Management faculty have been running a trip to Jersey to visit Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust with degree students since 2005. The trust was founded in 1963 and is involved in a large variety of conservation projects ranging from ex-situ captive breeding projects for endangered species such as the golden lion tamarin, Madagascar teal and Western lowland gorilla to name a few.
Students on all the degree courses - BSc (Hons) Animal Management, BSc (Hons) and FdSc Applied Behavioural Science and Welfare and BSc (Hons) and FdSc Animal Conservation and Biodiversity - are able to join the study tour. The study tour lasts 5 days; students stay in the zoo’s accommodation, enjoy locally produced food and are able to enter the zoo before the public.
Previously, students have also conducted work in the veterinary laboratory testing gorilla urine for pregnancy hormones and looking at parasite screening. The students also have had behind the scene tours of different areas of the zoo, with the herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) allowing students to look at breeding projects for critically endangered species such as the mountain chicken (also known as giant ditch frog), orange tailed skink and Mallorcan midwife toad. Here students look at methods of breeding and the difficulties of trying to conserve such rare species. Definitely eye opening when students see nearly an entire species in one room!
Every year students undertake a group project during their time in Jersey; this involves looking at enclosure design and assessing behaviour of the species within the environment.
During the stay students also create enrichment for the animals in the zoo, previously enrichment has been created for the macaques, coatis and Andean bears. All the enrichment is sourced from the zoo grounds and students (and staff!) enjoy the creation and destruction of the enrichment!
Feedback is resoundingly positive about the study tour and Hadlow encourages students to use the trip to develop their research and critical thinking skills to aid their final year dissertations and employability. This year a range of students will be attending the study tour, from all years and from all programmes, from 1st July - 5th July and are looking forward to chance of studying at one of the premier conservation organisations in the world.