This unit ties together, in both theoretical and practical ways, concepts and practices for maintaining biological diversity, and how these concepts and practices can be integrated with social and economic needs.
The development of conservation theory and practice in Australia; extinction and its significance, including pathways to extinction; the meanings, levels and interpretation of concepts of biodiversity; ecological and adaptive management approaches to conservation and recovery, including design of reserves, setting priorities, off-reserve conservation and ex-situ (captive breeding, reintroduction and translocation). Practical field studies and site visits will investigate the contributions of zoo's, national and state parks, friends groups, councils and shires, other government agencies and private landholders to the conservation and recovery of plant and animal species, from insects to mammals, and from mushrooms to trees. The subject will also include practical appraisals of techniques used to determine integrity of ecosystems, landscapes and overall environment, the contributions made by biodiversity to ecosystem services and integrated methods for recovery and sustainable management of species and ecosystems.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBF1310 - Biology 1

RBF1320 - Biology 2

RBF2610 - Fundamentals of Ecology

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate and implement ecologically and genetic principles to the conservation and management of plant and species and populations in an ethical and fact-based manner;  
  2. Work individually and collectively to critically assess and formulate conservation management actions as they apply to in-situ and ex-situ conservation programs;  
  3. Argue, debate and report in written and oral form, conservation programs and principles to a range of end-users groups;  
  4. Critically analyse a range of data types and published literature and data to support and justify sound decision-making processes in relation to conservation and sustainability; and  
  5. Formulate a theoretical basis on which to base conservation and sustainability management decisions.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Field Report #1 (1500 words) 20%
Assignment Field Report #2 (1500 words) 20%
Essay Major assignment (2500 words) 40%
Presentation Community participation and Oral Presentation (10 min) 20%

Required reading

Practical Conservation Biology
Lindenmayer, D. and Burgman, M., (2016)
CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

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