Big Cats: Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation


Felids are one of the most charismatic group of species which have attracted the human attentions for thousands of years. Most of them suffer from human pressure such as poaching and habitat loss, confining them to a small portion of their vast historic distribution. However, they are still one of the flagships for conservation efforts in many countries while their persistence is substantially tied to socioeconomic factors.

In this one-day course, you will learn from the people who have spent decades working in some remote areas of the world to understand the ecology of felids and how to apply those learnings for the benefit of those species in developing countries.

The day is composed of 4 lectures, starting with an overview of the evolution of the felids, taxonomy, distribution and their general ecological functions. Then, there will be three region and species-specific lectures shedding light on the behavioural ecology of different felids, such as clouded leopards in southeast Asia, Persian and snow leopards in west and central Asia and lions and cheetahs in southern Africa. In these three talks, the challenges for the conservation and survival of these species will be highlighted in the context of each region's socioeconomic and political conditions.

By the end of the day, you will obtain a concise understanding about felids and the diversity of their conservation concerns from frontline biological scientists.

Programme details


An introduction to big cats: evolution, distribution and ecology
Dr Mohammad Farhadinia


Southeast Asia cats, human development and economic growth
Dr Andrew Hearn

Lunch break

Asia’s Big cats in mountains, politics and governments
Dr Mohammad Farhadinia


Big cats living with people in Africa: conflict, coexistence and livelihoods
Dr Moreangels Mbizah [presenting remotely]

Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition fee (includes tea/coffee) £85.00
Baguette £6.10
Hot lunch (three courses) £16.50


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Mohammad Farhadinia

Speaker and Course Director

Mohammad Farhadinia is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher within the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on analytical methods to improve understanding of wider factors affecting biodiversity conservation (largely of megafauna) in west and central Asia, considering environmental resources and cross-border conservation, with the goal of leveraging biodiversity conservation in this region of the world. He completed his DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford in December 2017 on Persian leopards in Iran.

Dr Andrew Hearn


Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Dr Moreangels Mbizah


Wildlife Conservation Action


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.