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Fundamentals of Environmental Protection

Code: 40349
ECTS: 5.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Perica Mustafić
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Perica Mustafić - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. Define conservation biology, its objectives and disciplines, basic concepts of biological diversity, landscape ecology, restoration ecology and in situ and ex situ conservation.
2. List the categories of the national and internationally protected areas, and compare and analyse the theoretical and functional categories of biological diversity at all three levels (genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity).
3. Calculate the basic measures and indices of biodiversity, compare types of extinction and explain the extinction vortex.
4. Compare in situ and ex situ protection.
5. Assess the extinction risk of individual species according to the IUCN criteria.
6. Analyse the protection of areas based on the objectives, intended purpose and conservation principles, and the positive and negative sides of the use of renewable energy sources.
7. Recognise the threats to biodiversity at all levels, and identify the appropriate method for their resolution, and associate the causes of threat with the effects they cause in biological communities and ecosystems.
8. Associate the intended protection of an area with the appropriate category of protection and the international regulations.
9. Independently create programs and projects that, in addition to conservation, include an educational component, and that children of primary and secondary school age can participate in their implementation.
10. Evaluate the adequacy of individual segments of conservation in relation to the increasing importance of this field, supplement with new examples, and select the appropriate didactical method for the presentation of individual teaching units.

1. Introduction to conservation: definition of conservation biology, comparison with other biological disciplines, principles and objectives, main causes of threat to nature.
2. Biological diversity: structure and function of biodiversity, organisational levels, biodiversity values, measuring biodiversity (functional and theoretical categories), graphical overviews, intraspecies diversity, basic measures of genetic diversity.
3. Basic principles of protection at the species level: assessing the risk of extinction, Red Lists and Red Books, categories of threat, action plans and management plans.
4. Extinction: definition, sixth massive extinction event in relation to prehistoric events, main causes of extinction, spatial distribution of extinction and the extinction rate, extinction vortex, types of extinction, small population issues.
5. Threats to biodiversity: habitat destruction, fragmentation, climate change.
6. Threats to biodiversity: invasive species, overharvesting.
7. Habitat protection: nationally protected areas in Croatia, internationally protected areas and important conventions, IUCN categories of protection for areas, objectives and principles of protection of areas, managing protected areas.
8. Habitat and species protection: protected area networks, basic principles of landscape ecology, NATURA 2000.
9. Habitat protection: ecological restoration and basic principles of ecological restoration, planning restoration works.
10. Applied population biology: disciplines of population biology and their application in conservation, collection of population data, analysis of population viability.
11. Ex situ conservation and population renewal: positive and negative sides, institutions, breeding methods in captivity, augmentation, introduction, translocation, reintroduction, elements of reintroduction programs.
12. Renewable energy sources: hydro energy, solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy, tidal energy, wave energy.
13. Introduction to conservation genetics.
14. Legislation and conservation: fundamental Croatian laws and international conventions upon which conservation is based.
15. Didactic methods in developing teaching units pertaining to conservation.

1. Describe biodiversity using calculation of diversity measures and indices.
2. Assessments of extinction risk and determining the level of threat to a species.
3. Drafting action plans.
4. Categorisation of ecosystems on the basis of ecosystem role.
5. Determination of functional differentiation.
6. Presence and presentation of conservation topics in the media.
7. Scientific work in conservation biology.
8. Analysis of population viability.
9. Modelling anthropogenic effects on the likelihood of population and metapopulation survival.
10. Influence of fragmentation on populations.
11. Mitigation of fragmentation effects, reserves and corridors.
12. Island biogeography.
13. Examples of conservation genetics.
14. Conservation units and priorities.
  1. Primack, R.B. (2014): Essentials of Conservation Biology. 6th edition. Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, Massachusetts, USA, 601 pp
  2. Van Dyke, F. (2008): Conservation Biology: Foundations, Concepts, Applications. 2nd. edition. Springer, 478 pp
  3. Radović J.(ur.) (1999): Pregled stanja biološke i krajobrazne raznolikosti Hrvatske sa strategijom i akcijskim planovima zaštite. DUZPO, Zagreb
  4. Groom, M.J., Meffe, G.K. and Carroll, C.R. (2012) Principles of Conservation Biology. 3rd edition. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA, 779 pp
  5. Bryant, P. J. (2009): Biodiversity and Conservation. University of California, Irvine
  6. Državni zavod za zaštitu prirode (2014): Analiza stanja prirode u Republici Hrvatskoj za razdoblje 2008.-2012. DZZP, www.dzzp.hr
  7. Gottstein Matočec S., Ozimec, R., Jalžić, B., Kerovec, M. i Bakran-Petricioli, T. (2002): Raznolikost i ugroženost podzemne faune Hrvatske. MZOiPO, Zagreb
  8. Tutiš, V., Kralj, J., Radović, D., Čiković, D. i Barišić, S. (2012): Crvena knjiga ugroženih ptica Hrvatske. MZOiPO, Zagreb
3. semester
Izborni predmeti - Regular study - Biology
Consultations schedule: