The North Region Fauna

The North Region Fauna

The course aims to acquaint students with the North region fauna, with the ways of fauna formation, opportunities of wildlife management and preservation. The territory of the region includes arctic desert, tundra and forest tundra, northern boreal forest (taiga).

Course name

The North Region Fauna

Type of course


Level of course

Master studies

Year of study

First year

Semester when the course is delivered



5 ECTS (48 contact hours, total workload 180)

Name of lecturer

Ms. Marina Podbolotskaya

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course the students should be able to:

  • understand fundamental aspects of biology relating to the functioning of animals;
  • analyze ways of fauna formation, opportunities of wildlife management and preservation;
  • understand ethical principles underlying conservation of biodiversity;
  • work safely and effectively in the field, in laboratories;
  • identify the main species of the local fauna;
  • design, manage, monitor, present and analyze critically animal science project work;
  • correlate the observation data and personal findings to the theoretical laws of fauna formation;
  • compare international experience and animals studies of the north fauna.

Mode of delivery

face-to-face with the elements of distance learning (referral databases, identification schemes, self-study)

Prerequisites and co-requisites

To take the course students should know basic principles of zoology and ecology, notions of general biology; be familiar with the basic terminology; be able to work with literature and reference materials; be able to find and use information on the Internet.

Course contents

Notion fauna.

Soil and fresh-water protozoa.

Sponges and cnidarians of the northern seas.

Arthropods of the local fauna.

Mollusks (land, fresh-water and sea).

Class cyclostomata. Class Cartilaginous fishes. Class Bony fishes.

Class Amphibians. Class Reptiles. Species, range, abundance and significance.

Class Birds.

Class Mammals.

The anthropogenic impact on the fauna of the North region.

Recommended and required reading

  1. Sakshaug E., Johnsen G., Kovacs K. (eds) Ecosystem Barents sea. Trondheim. 2009. 587 p.
  2. Løken A. Studies of Scandinavian bumblebee bus (Hymenoptera, Apidae) // Norsk. Entomol. Tidsskr., 1973. vol. 30, 1. 218р.
  3. Callaghan, T, V., Bjorn, L.O., Chernov, Yu., Chapin, III., (eds). Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge University Press. 2005. 1036 p.

Additional reading:

  1. Chernov Yu.I., Makarova O.L. Beetles (Coleoptera) in High Arctic // Back to the roots and back to the future. Towards a new synthesis between taxonomic, ecological and biogeographical approaches in carabidology. Sofia-Moscow 2008. p. 207-240.
  2. Coulson S.J., Moe B., Gabrielsen G.W. The invertebrate fauna of High Arctic seabird nests: the microarthropod community inhabiting nests on Spitsbergen, Svalbard // Polar Biology. 2009. 32: 1041-1046.
  3. Babenko A., Fjellberg A. Collembola septenrionale. A catalogue of springtails of the Arctic regions. Moscow. KMK Scientific press, 2006. 190 p.
  4. Kozlov M.V., Zvereva E., Zverev V. Impacts of point polluters on terrestrial biota: comparative analysis of 18 contaminated area. 2009. 483 р.


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures, laboratory work, tests and presentations at lectures and laboratory work classes; work with collections, case study.

Self-study: assignments available via the Internet, reports, presentations and photo exhibitions, excursions.

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment is based on students’ attendance and participation in class sessions, on the results of questioning and tests as well as individual tasks (presentations, projects, photo collections, preparation for group discussions).

Assessment criteria: students are expected to show their understanding of the course material, independence when working on individual creative assignments, ability to identify the main species of the local fauna in the wild and in the laboratory.

Reporting format:

  • offset
  • 20% of visits to the classroom
  • 20% work in the labs
  • 30% of individual projects
  • 30% talk to a credit or test

Language of instruction


Recommended optional components

Advanced study of the fauna of the arctic islands and northern seas/ different districts/ protected areas/ cultural landscapes/ urbacenosis and agrocenosis. It is planned to encourage students to take photos and make videos.