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

A.Y. 2020/2021
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

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Microsoft Teams platform will be used and lessons can be followed both synchronously on the basis scheduled timetable and asynchronously, because they will be recorded and left available to students on the same platform.
Information on how to access Microsoft Teams lessons and other instructional instructions will be uploaded on ARIEL website. The course will alternate different teaching techniques: lectures, seminar method, case analysis and solution. Lessons may also include pre-recorded materials.
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
Teaching activity will take place with lectures, in the classroom. Students' practical activities will take place both in the classroom, with the aid of software for video analysis, and at wildlife parks or zoos.
Teaching Resources
Program and teaching material will not change. The content of the individual lessons could be modified according to the teaching methods described above. All educational support material will always be made available through the Ariel platform.
Assessment methods and Criteria
If possible, the exam will take place in written form according to the procedures described in the section "Exam procedures". Alternatively, the acquisition of the skills that the student will have to learn and possess at the end of the activity will be tested with the use of the on-line platform.
VET/02 - VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 3
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 16 hours