Conservation Biology

Course code ENVS3003Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

The principles of nature conservation and the paradigm of global biodiversity, comprise the core of this course. The past and present impacts of developments upon Australian biota and ecosystems is examined and the implications for the management of natural systems and wildlife are analysed. The statutory requirements of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) as applied to flora and fauna will be studied, as will the specific requirements of Fauna Impact Assessment (FIS). The biological processes that provide the theoretical basis for these acts will be studied by reference to case studies and ecological principles.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory component in the course outline provided by the school.

Not to count with EMGT3030.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
OurimbahSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will have:

Knowledge in:
1. The scope of biodiversity, including species diversity, ecosystem diversity and genetic diversity;
2. Assessment of species diversity. Rapid assessment techniques, strengths and weakness of concepts such as, guilds, keystone species, indicator species and species diversity indices;
3. Concepts dealing with impacts on individual species and communities such as inertia, resilience and stability of populations;
4. Population viability analysis;
5. Measures of genetic diversity. Conservation genetic principles relating to reduced population numbers, founder effect, genetic drift, heterozygosity and variability, stochastic events, origins of genetic diversity, inbreeding depression and outbreeding depression;
6. Consequences of reduced population size on behavioural patterns, genetics and demographics of organisms;
7. Habitat fragmentation and the spatial effects of developments. Edge effects, isolation of populations, corridors and barriers to movement and migration;
8. Population declines and extinction. Deterministic explanations of extinctions and their consequences.

Skills in:
1. Determination of appropriate steps to be taken in dealing with conservation management situations;
2. Sourcing and collating appropriate information;
3. Conducting minimum viable population analyses;
4. Collecting demographic data of significance to assessing the status of a species or population;
5. Measuring in specific cases fitness of a population;
6. Achieving a high level of effective written and oral communication skills;
7. Working as the member of team, understanding the importance of roles, effective communication, time planning and individual responsibilities.
Content1. Within-population measures of genetic variation. The consequences for heterozygosity, genetic drift, and inbreeding accompanying severe population reductions.
2. Measures of fitness. Recognition of endangered species. Although it is tempting to manage endangered populations for enhancement of genetic variation, the causal links between heterozygosity and fitness are difficult to establish.
3. Behavioural and demographic concerns should also be addressed.
4. Natural reserve selection and management.
5. Ecological and genetic methods used to identify major sources of regional phylogeographic diversity around which management guidelines and natural reserves might be established.
6. Stock structure analysis. In particular applications to fishing industries and harvesting of native (free ranging) organisms.
7. International guidelines of environmental impact assessments (flora and fauna). International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Guidelines for;
8. Reintroduction and translocations; Exclosure; Wildlife diseases;
9. Identification of problems facing wildlife managers. Wildlife management and management of small populations. Sustainable use of wildlife.
10. Role of the community in wildlife conservation. Restoration of disturbed habitats.
11. Development of policy and planning for implementation: Fauna Impact Statements, and Plans of Management.
12. Field techniques relevant to issues described above, and relating to current industrial, urban and agricultural activities (mining, forestry, water resource management, agriculture, urban expansion).
13. Consideration of special project management issues relating to wildlife and conservations programs. Identification of project goals, targets, problems, key decisions and role of various agencies, local government, State government departments, Commonwealth agencies, in project planning.
14. Introduction to modern planning methods, including the use of spatial information systems and relational databases in project design, assessment and monitoring.
15. Management of environmental data and information flow.
16. Principles of organisational structure and management as applied to wildlife conservation and environmental projects.
Replacing Course(s)EMGT3030 Conservation Biology
TransitionNot to count for credit with EMGT3030
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeENVS2006 Ecology & Management of Australian Fauna (previously EMGT2050) and
ENVS2004 Ecology (previously BIOL2070)
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Assessment Items
Examination: Formal
Other: (please specify)Weekly laboratory practical work, practical tests, a field excursion report and seminar
Contact HoursLecture: for 24 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Laboratory: for 36 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Compulsory Course ComponentOHS-Safety Induction or Risk Assessment. In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety and fieldwork induction.
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for ENVS3003