Physiology of adaptation and reproduction of exotic animals housed in controlled environment

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the main cognitive elements on the physiological mechanisms of adaptation and the management of wild mammals hosted in a controlled environment, paying particular attention to the factors that can threaten the maintenance of homeostasis and the methods to prevent or delete them. The course proposes theoretical and practical approaches, in the form of exercises in the classroom and in the field, for the management of wild animals in different contexts that characterize zoos and wildlife parks, also taking into consideration the methods of assessing the adaptation of the subjects. Students will acquire theoretical and operational skills to understand, analyze and evaluate the problems of the wild animals' hosted in a controlled environment and will be able to apply them to animal management with ethically acceptable and scientifically rigorous methods.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: the student will have to demonstrate the knowledge of the physiological bases of wild mammals' homeostasis.
Knowledge and comprehension skills applied: the student must demonstrate to possess the essential concepts to establish connections between the various topics covered, and in particular the physiology, behavior, and animal welfare, in order to be able to apply this knowledge in the professional life.
Communication skills: the student must demonstrate to be able to use appropriate terminology, which allows him to express the acquired knowledge adequately.
Ability to learn: the student will have to demonstrate to be able, in autonomy, to increase the knowledge of the topics concerning the adaptation of wild animals in a controlled environment.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Role of zoos in protecting biodiversity and international actions aimed at protecting endangered animals;
What can be considered as a stressful agent for a wild animal housed in a controlled environment?
How to prevent or mitigate the action of stressors?
Endocrinology of stress;
Reproduction and maternal behavior: how can they vary in a controlled environment?
How can we evaluate the adaptation of animals to captivity?
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites are required
Teaching methods
The course will be articulated in frontal lessons in the classroom, practical exercises with the help of software in the classroom, and practical exercises in wildlife parks.
Teaching Resources
Scientific articles published in international journals and copy of the slides of the lessons.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is a written test, consisting of 15 questions with multiple choice answers plus one open question. The test aims to ascertain the acquisition, correct understanding, and ability to rework the course content. The educational material available on the Ariel platform allows knowledge of the subject. The evaluation of the test will be out of thirty, and the final mark will take into account the correctness and completeness of the answers.
VET/02 - VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 3
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 16 hours