The term "Biodiversity" is relatively recent and although it has become fashionable it is nothing other than "Biological Diversity", understanding it as the structural and functional variety of all life forms at a genetic level, of populations, communities and ecosystems From a strictly biological point of view, its maintenance is unquestionable.

From the utilitarian perspective, biodiversity is extremely valuable for the goods it produces (food, medicines, fuels, etc.), for the services it performs (pollination, soil protection, nutrient cycles, etc.), for the information that contributes (scientific knowledge) and even as a carrier of psycho-spiritual values ​​(beauty, religion, senses, etc.). But the Conservation of biodiversity at the present time is much more, it becomes even a matter of survival especially in a territory as small as that of the Canary Islands, where mismanagement of resources, can be at least, more serious than in large territories where demographic pressure is lower.

Island environments, and in particular oceanic islands, have peculiarities (isolation, simple ecological communities, high number of endemisms, scarcity or absence of predators, meekness of species, etc.) that make them more susceptible to the various threat factors . To give an example of this vulnerability, it is known that around 90% of the extinctions of birds produced in the last 400 years refer precisely to insular species.

On the other hand, the terrestrial biodiversity of the Canary Islands is of extraordinary interest both nationally and internationally. The Macaronésicos archipelagos and especially the most compatible ones (Canary Islands and Madeira), constitute a hot spot of interest for researchers from all over the world, and especially European ones. In the last 10 years, the volume of research and conservation work related to Macaronesia and in particular to the Canary Islands has tripled by specialists from around the world, which makes the Master of Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation in Islands have an impact not only on an island scale, but also at a national and European level.

The implementation of the University Master's Degree in Terrestrial Biodiversity and Island Conservation at the Universidad de La Laguna is justified for four important reasons:

  1. To cover the current demand that there are in insular land conservation technicians in the Canary Islands, which will give greater employment opportunities to our students, and better yields in the conservation of resources.
  2. Need for conservation of the extraordinary biological richness of the archipelago and management of resources, which will have a positive impact on various sectors of current and future society. Reason that can be extrapolated to other island systems.
  3. Need for training of specialists in terrestrial biodiversity, covering both basic scientific aspects and applied to different fields, both in the Canary Islands and other island systems of our environment or others.
  4. Project international research, especially European research in the Canary Islands, specifically the knowledge about biodiversity and conservation biology in this archipelago, which will allow not only the exchange of students and teachers, but a better projection of current knowledge on the management of resources in the Canary Islands.

External references

In the context of references of similar postgraduate studies both nationally and internationally we note below as shown by the following quality master's degrees. Keep in mind that they are not equivalent offers, both in terms of their structure, due to the relatively recent entry of the new legislation, and its content. All of them, to a different extent, try to provide the student with theoretical and practical knowledge about Biological Diversity and its Conservation with academic, research or professional approaches. None of them addresses the biological and other problems associated with insularity, nor does it develop Macaronesian biodiversity.

Biodiversity: Conservation and Evolution

Biological Sciences Faculty.

University of Valencia.

Taught in Spanish. From 60 to 120 ECTS.

Master of academic orientation and research, with five curricular intensifications.

Master in Management of Biodiversity in Mediterranean Environments.

Faculty of Biology.

University of Murcia.

Basic and applied training in the management of biodiversity, habitats and protected areas in the Mediterranean environment.

Master in Biodiversity.

Faculty of Biology. 60 ECTS. 1 year.

University of Barcelona.

Master of academic, professional and research orientation

Numerous curricular options

Complutense University of Madrid

Faculty of Biology. 60 ECTS. 1 year.

Master in Conservation Biology.

4 training itineraries (genetic, botanical, ecosystem or zoological management)

Master's Program in Biodiversity and Conservation

Department of Biology Education


Taught in _English. 120 ECTS. 2-3 years

Aimed at graduates who have completed at least 90 ESTCs in Biology.

Biodiversity and Conservation (M.Sc./P.Grad.Dip) (Master of Science)

School of Natural Sciences

University of Dublin Trinity College

Dublin, Ireland

Taught in English. 12 months.

Directed to the disciplines of Biology, Earth Sciences, Agrarian, Forestry and other related.

Masters Courses in Biodiversity

Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Univesity of Leeds.

Taught in English. 12 months (2 semesters and practical work in summer). 180 Credits.

Very versatile master's degree, of academic and research orientations, with few compulsory credits and a wide range of optional modules.

Biodiversität, Evolution und Ökologie

Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy

Free University of Berlin

Berlin Germany

Taught in German and English. 24 months.

Academic and research orientation.

Biodiversity Conservation (Master of Science)

School of Conservation Sciences

Bournemouth University

Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Taught in English. 12 months.

Orientation towards research and management of biodiversity and its conservation.

Conservation Biology (Master of Science)

University of Kent

Canterbury, United Kingdom

Taught in English. 12 months.

Orientation towards research and management of biodiversity and its conservation.

In relation to the professional and research activity that entails or propitiates the present Master project, it should be considered that although the present Master project does not focus specifically on the IDI exclusively, since this would represent an overly ambitious and unabated objective, if shows adaptation to some of the lines marked by the Canary Plan for Research, Development, Innovation and Dissemination 2007-2010.

In this Plan, it is pointed out that the ID i system is essential as a catalyst and catalyst of the new development model for the islands, that the Canarian singularities are attractive due to their privileged situation as a platform for cooperation and that their biodiversity and natural resources they become a natural laboratory in the fields of sustainability, global change and biotechnology.

Among the orientations of the strategic approach (point 3.6 of the Plan) it is pointed out that it establishes a road map towards sustainable development through the Knowledge Economy and that tries to establish a new lasting model that makes compatible population, social justice, economy and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the people.

The Plan defines strategic scientific-technological areas as priority action areas that concentrate and focus the actions of the system, trying to respond to current needs and future opportunities and challenges of the region (point 3.8 of the Plan). Defines two types of areas: transversal-instrumental and sectoral. The areas of sectoral scope face interests of a scientific-technological nature, where demand or socioeconomic needs are clearly identified, the capacity for business innovation and the generation of value, wealth and employment, taking advantage of the resources and potentialities latent in the Canary Islands.

Among these areas is that of Natural Resources, which includes the sub-areas of: Energy, Water, Climate Change and Biodiversity. Among the specific objectives and commitments indicated in section 3.9, it states:

I. Increase the capabilities and quality of the Canary Islands Science, Technology and Innovation System; Increase the qualified human capital (researchers, technologists and managers); Increase the attraction and mobility of researchers, both in training and exchange of excellence, in their modalities of stays in research centers and companies.

II. Improvement of the management and dissemination of ID i

III. Achieve greater promotion and dissemination of scientific culture with the involvement of the media, enhancing the dissemination activity in society. Increase the scientific vocations of young people, maintaining the current levels of graduates in scientific and technological careers.

Internal and external consultation procedures

The elaboration of the Master's proposal in Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation in Islands has been carried out, within the Faculty of Biology, following the guidelines set by: Regulation of Official Teachings of Master and Doctorate of the Universidad de La Laguna (approved in Governing Council of January 29, 2009 and BOC number 031 of February 16, 2009 - 215) Decree 168/2008, of July 22, which regulates the procedure, requirements and evaluation criteria for the authorization of the implantation of the university education leading to the obtaining of the official titles of degree, masters and doctorate of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands (BOC of August 1, 2008).

The external consultation procedures must refer to the surveys carried out for the preparation of the White Book, some of them carried out directly by the General Council of Colleges of Biologists, with graduates and other social agents. There are endorsements from external institutions that show the suitability of the master and the great interest received from various external institutions contacted, among which Canarian National Parks, the Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology of the CSIC, the Dept. of Biology of the University of Madeira and units of Biodiversity of the Environmental Areas of Island Councils, among others.

Entry and exit profile

Admission profile

With regard to the recommended income profile, it is indicated that this Master is aimed at those students who are interested in specializing in terrestrial biodiversity and its conservation with a view to acquiring knowledge and skills that also allow them to enter the labor market. that also empowers them to deepen in the fundamental techniques of research, development and innovation in Biodiversity and want to develop a doctoral thesis. The Master is preferably aimed at Graduates in Biology, but can be accessed by other graduates (RD 1393/2007, Art. 16), preferably those that cover aspects related to biological issues. The required or recommended prerequisites of the different subjects of the Master, contained in their teaching guide, indicate the necessary prior knowledge and constitute a reference for the student.

Graduation profile

The master's degree will be a specialist in Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation in Islands and will be able to undertake research and work as a senior technician in both administration and private activity in the field in which he has been trained.

The specific competences noted for the degree define the activities and fields of knowledge where the graduate can exercise his qualification.

Likewise, take 60 ECTS of the master's degree to qualify for Doctoral Programs.


The general objectives of the Master's Degree in Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation in Islands are the following:

  1. To train specialists in Biodiversity and its Conservation, making it possible to access the labor market in positions with a high level of responsibility or to apply their ideas in a research context.
  2. To provide up-to-date and high-quality training based on the acquisition of theoretical and practical multidisciplinary knowledge necessary for the exercise of research, work practice in emerging and expanding professions, as well as management in public or private administration entities.
  3. In summary, the knowledge and understanding of: the nature of biodiversity, types, origin, fluctuations and threats; the methods and techniques for their conservation, management and sustainable use; the preparation for professional practice and for the teaching of biodiversity in its different aspects; initiation in research, basic and applied, on living, current and fossil beings, and on systemic and evolutionary aspects of biodiversity.
  4. Transmit to students respect for fundamental rights and equality between men and women, respect for and promotion of Human Rights, democratic culture and peace, and the principles of equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility of People with disabilities.


Transversal competences:

1. Capacity for organization and planning.

2. Analysis and synthesis capacity.

3. Oral and written communication in the native language.

4. Knowledge of a foreign language.

5. Computer skills related to the field of study.

6. Information management capacity.

7. Resolution of problems.

8. Decision making.

9. Team work.

10. Critical reasoning.

11. Work in an interdisciplinary team.

12. Work in an international context.

13. Skills in interpersonal relationships.

14. Recognition of diversity and multiculturalism.

15. Ethical commitment.

16. Autonomous learning.

17. Adaptation to new situations.

18. Creativity

19. Leadership

20. Knowledge of other cultures and customs.

21. Initiative and entrepreneurial spirit.

22. Motivation for quality.

23. Sensitivity to environmental issues.

Specific competences:

24. Advice and development of studies and practical work on biodiversity and its conservation.

25. Apply the appropriate tools for the study and conservation of biodiversity.

26. Analysis of the structure, functioning and dynamics of populations and communities relevant to biological conservation.

27. Application of biogeographical studies and techniques for the analysis of terrestrial biodiversity.

28. Application of ecophysiological knowledge and techniques aimed at the conservation of biodiversity.

29. Application of application data analysis techniques to knowledge of biodiversity and its conservation.

30. Taxonomic techniques for biodiversity analysis.

31. Experimental design and data collection for the monitoring and analysis of the viability of populations and communities.

32. Catalog and evaluate terrestrial biodiversity on islands.

33. Application of genetic analyzes in the determination of genetic diversity, as well as in the identification of taxonomic units.

34. Recognize and quantify population and interspecific diversity.

35. Project populations through predictive models at a future time and estimate their viability.

36. Identification, study and monitoring of the causes that affect the conservation of living beings.

37. Categorize threatened species.

38. Assess the vulnerability of island biota.

39. Propose action measures that improve the probabilities of survival of the populations.

40. Propose actions against conservation problems.

41. Develop research projects in the field of terrestrial ecology, biodiversity and its conservation.

42. Quantitative techniques of impact evaluation in communities and terrestrial populations.

43. Detect conflicts, diagnose, develop and develop ecological restoration projects aimed at preserving biodiversity.

44. Analysis, diagnosis, evaluation and monitoring of populations of threatened species.

45. Recognition, study, control and eradication of invasive species.

46. ​​Diagnose, program and solve environmental problems caused by invasive species.

47. Evaluate the conservation status of natural areas as a basis for their management.

48. Design reserves taking into account the principles of island biogeography.

49. Management, inventory and analysis with Geographic Information Systems (GIS): generation of analysis of predictive models, management and advanced procedures for the analysis of territorial information on biodiversity and generation of thematic cartography.

50. Combine thematic maps, to generate new information about knowledge of areas, management, conservation and management of species, communities and ecosystems.

51. Preparation and application of species recovery plans.

52. Knowledge and application of legal instruments that guarantee the management and conservation of threatened animal or plant species or not.

53. Ability to use the resources provided by ethnobotany for the maintenance of biodiversity.

54. Value the importance of plant-animal relationships in island systems and their importance in the conservation of biodiversity.

55. Handle and interpret pollen data in its taxonomic, paleobotanic and paleoclimatic aspects, in relation to knowledge of biodiversity and its evolution.

56. Assess and propose measures for soil conservation and restoration.

57. Design methods to combat erosion and desertification.

58. Evaluate the physical environment for the conservation of its biodiversity.

Orientation and mentoring

Within the framework of the PR-10 procedure "Student Orientation" contemplated in the quality manual of the Faculty of Biology, an annual student orientation plan is established, which includes the host actions, the tutorial plan, the academic guide of the degree and support for training. The tutorial action plan will have a teacher who will perform the tasks of personal tutor. The assignment of tutors will be carried out by the departments involved in teaching. Their functions will be to encourage reflection, dialogue, autonomous learning, participation in the institution and the use of training resources. Orient you in your studies and in your learning process. Help you set up your own training curriculum. Also, guide you on making academic and professional decisions.

Finally, it is the role of the tutor to establish guidelines for the organization, coordination and monitoring of tutorial activities. The achievement of these objectives necessarily involves a precise knowledge of the difficulties and problems that are posed to students during their studies, as well as the establishment of mechanisms that allow their resolution or that, at least, provide guidance to the student allow you to make the decision that is most convenient for you.

External practices

The external practices (PE) are specifically focused on the application of the training content acquired in the teaching phase, in the practice of biodiversity management and conservation.

These PEs also develop the competences to be acquired by the student, both the basic competences, as well as a good part of the transversal competences [1-23] and, depending on the institution or host company and the activity to be carried out, certain of the specific competences of the title [24-58].

For the development of these PEs we have presented the agreements and letters of acceptance requested by the ULL Postgraduate Commission. In addition to these, students can benefit from specific agreements established from Collaboration Agreements included in the Educational Cooperation Program of the Faculty of Biology.

The practical task to be developed must necessarily be linked to the skills of the degree.

The PE must meet the following requirements:

  • Carried out in a company or institution linked to issues related to the specific competences of the Master with which the Universidad de La Laguna has signed an agreement.
  • That the tasks of tutoring, in each case, be carried out in a coordinated manner by a professor of the Master appointed by the Academic Committee of the Master and by a tutor of the Company or Institution, who will be the person in charge of the instruction of the student and the person of contact with the Master.
  • The practices will be carried out in the schedule established by the company or institution.
  • The student who requests the internship must have passed at least 51 ECTS of the compulsory subjects of the first two semesters of the master's degree (85% of the ECTS of their subjects).
  • The Coordinator of Practices will make public sufficiently in advance the list of places offered in the different companies or institutions, which have signed the mandatory agreement, in which to develop the PE.
  • The priority in the election by the students will be based on the grades obtained during the development of the master's degree and for this purpose the Academic Commission will publish the list of students ordered by their grade.
  • The evaluation of the PE will be done according to the evaluation criteria established in the corresponding Teaching Guide and the report made by the external tutor, which is part of the company or institution that has hosted the student. The assessment of the external tutor will have a value of 60% and that of the internal tutor, based on the internship report submitted to him, by 40%.

Coordinator of external internships:

The functions of the PE coordinator are:

  • Search and select institutions and companies for the development of the PE. The agreements must be signed by the Rector of the University or the person to whom he delegates.
  • Plan the PE and prepare informative material.
  • Disseminate the PE according to procedure PR-27, "Public Information".
  • Ensure the execution of the Student Orientation actions in the development of the PE, according to the procedure PR-10 "Student Orientation".
  • Be in contact with the PE tutors to follow the proper development of them. To this end, it will hold regular meetings with them, at least at the beginning and half of them.
  • Ensure coordination between internal and external tutors. These tutors will have at least one initial meeting before starting the activity and regular meetings to monitor the progress of the activities.

List of possible centers or institutions for external internships:

Canarian institutions and centers

  • Teide National Park
  • National Park of La Caldera de Taburiente
  • Garajonay National Park
  • Timanfaya National Park
  • IPNA- CSIC. The lagoon.
  • "ICIA Valle de Guerra (La Laguna).
  • Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz. "
  • University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health
  • Canary Botanical Garden Viera y Clavijo (Cabildo de Gran Canaria)
  • Insular Museum of Natural Sciences of S / C de Tenerife (Cabildo de Tenerife)
  • Ministry of Environment and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands.
  • Canarian Agency for Sustainable Development and Climate Change
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de El Hierro
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de La Palma
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de La Gomera
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de Tenerife
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de Gran Canaria
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de Fuerteventura
  • Environment Area of ​​the Cabildo de Lanzarote
  • Environment Area of ​​City Councils

Macaronesian Institutions and Centers

  • Jardim Botânico da Madeira. Funchal.
  • Jardim Botânico do Faial - Açores
  • Madeira University (Department of Biology). Funchal.
  • Department of Ecology Estação Florestal Nacional. Oeiras Portugal.
  • Department of Plant Protection and Phytoecology. Higher Institute of Agronomy. Lisbon Portugal.
  • Universidade dos Açores. Department of Agri-cultural Sciences and Environment.


  • The Faculty of Biology has established framework agreements with some other institutions and also continues with the task of establishing new contacts with institutions, centers and companies.

Master's thesis

The student will individually carry out a project, report or study in which he applies and develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the Master applied to a subject or line of research that is of interest.

It will be done under the supervision of the tutor assigned by the Academic Committee of the Master. This Commission will supervise the adaptation of the project to the ECTS credits indicated in the planning of the courses.

The evaluation will consist in the presentation and defense of the work before a court.

Said tribunal will be composed of three members, of whom the President and Secretary will be common for all the projects defended in the same academic course and their position will last one year. This will guarantee the homogeneity of criteria. The third member of the court will be a professor of the Master expert in the line of investigation, who may be the tutor. The appointment of the members of the tribunal will be the responsibility of the Academic Committee of the Master. The preparation of the Master's Thesis will also contribute to the student completing the acquisition of transversal competences related to the ability to know how to communicate their conclusions, the knowledge and reasons that sustain them, to specialized and non-specialized publics in a clear way and without ambiguities, as well as completing specific competences related to the line of research of their work.

The Academic Committee of the Master will make public in advance the list of Master's Degree Projects offered by the masters, which will always be higher than the number of students enrolled. The works will be developed individually and will be different. The priority in the election by the students will be based on the grades obtained during the development of the master's degree and for this purpose the Academic Commission will publish the list of students ordered by their grade. The exhibition dates of the Master's Thesis will be published conveniently by the Academic Committee at the beginning of the Academic Course.

Professional outings

The master's degree will be a specialist in Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation in Islands and will be able to undertake research and work as a senior technician in both administration and private activity in the field in which he has been trained. Also, this master's degree enables you to access Doctoral Programs.

Program taught in:
  • Spanish

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