Conservation Management of Protected Natural and Semi-natural Habitats

Course content

The course consists of field-based teaching where the practical nature management is linked to ecological theory. You will get an overview of the general background for nature management in the EU and in Denmark. The newest management methods are demonstrated and discussed in relation to the latest research so the students are trained in evidence based nature management. During the field excursions, we will analyze the conditions of different nature types with reference to the Habitat Directive and discuss possible management methods.

The students are trained to assess the condition of different habitat types and the carrying capacity, evaluate the need for and outline the objectives for management and sketch out a management plan.

We will work with different endangered nature types and species protected under the Habitat Directive. We will evaluate possible management tools to maintain or restore favorable conditions for selected nature types under the Habitat Directive and the Danish Nature Protection § 3 (grassland, meadows, salt marsh, bogs and mires, heathlands and dunes, streams and lakes). Further, we will include forest habitat types.


MSc Programme in Nature Management

MSc Programme in Biology

Learning outcome



The student is provided with an in-depth understanding and hands-on experience of theoretical and practical nature management related to forest and semi-natural ecosystems.

After completing the course, the student will be able to:

  • identify common nature types in Denmark and the most important habitat types in Europe
  • identify the characteristic plant functional types and species in the different nature types
  • analyze the dynamics and succession of nature types
  • identify indicators for high nature value
  • identify the need for specific management and evaluate their potential and limitations
  • reflect on the effects of management method as tools for protection of species, communities and structures as well as soil



  • the student must be able to describe, name and evaluate the potential value and quality of a selected habitat, and evaluate the need for management and how to maintain the state of preservation
  • the student must be able to use different nature management methods and actions to reach the goals and be able to evaluate the ecological and economical consequences of the methods used
  • the student must be able to prepare a management plan for a selected nature area.
  • the student must e able to communicate objectives, set up management plans and select suitable methods to reach and maintain nature of high quality



  • ability to combine theoretical based knowledge of different nature types and their ecology with practical nature management
  • cooperate and work interdisciplinary with practitioners and other professions about management of protected habitats

The course will include lectures and exercises in the class room (35 %), field exercises and lectures in the field (40 %), and assignments (25 %). The field based teaching will be a combination of demonstrations of practical management methods by local land managers, lectures and exercises to collect material for the project report.

Selected book chapters and journal papers are presented on Absalon

Relevant bachelor degree, e.g. in Biology, Geography, Geology, Natural Resources, Forest and Landscape Engineer or similar is recommended.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, ongoing throughout the course
Oral examination, 20 minutes
hand-in of 1 written assignment during the course, individual or in groups. Oral examination: Individual oral presentation and discussion of the written assignment. The written assignment counts 2/3 and the oral examination 1/3 towards the final mark. There is no preparation for the oral examination.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.


Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 15
  • Project work
  • 45
  • Practical exercises
  • 25
  • Preparation
  • 60
  • Excursions
  • 50
  • Guidance
  • 6
  • Exam
  • 5
  • English
  • 206