Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Wildlife around the world are increasingly heading toward extinction. One method governments use to avert this extinction crisis is to create threatened species recovery plans that outline what we know about a species and how we can keep it alive into the future.

This course will develop your understanding of the ecology and management of wildlife via the creation of a species recovery plan. Students will work in groups to identify why recovery plans are important, and then to collect the information necessary on their chosen taxa to compile a recovery plan.

In doing so, students will develop skills on species identification and survey methods to ensure they can make appropriate recommendations in their recovery plans. Students will summarise published data on their focal species and related taxa to generate sections of their recovery plan on the species ecology and evolutionary history, unique adaptations, threatening processes and fully costed management solutions.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Create a fully costed recovery plan for a threatened species.

2. Assemble information relevant to the creation of the recovery plan, including that on species taxonomy, distribution, status, population trends, ecology, habitat and threats.

3. Translate lessons learnt on a threatened species that is relevant to other species.

4. Debate threatened species management from a range of perspectives.

5. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of methods of surveying wildlife.

6. Work effectively independently and as part of a team.


The Theme of the course revolves around creating a recovery plan for a threatened species. Specific emphasis is given to processing key components of the recovery plan including:

  1. What is in a species recovery plan and why are they important?
  2. Understanding the ecology of your focal species
  3. Determining critical habitat and identifying critical threats for your species.
  4. Paraphrase the national and international legal obligations that may affect your species.
  5. Methods to study, identify and describe the diversity of animals.
  6. The importance of your study taxa to indigenous people.
  7. Social and economic interests associated with the conservation management of your species.
  8. Decide what the broader benefits will be from the successful conservation of your species (ecosystem services).
  9. Describe the existing conservation management practices that are being implemented for your species, and evaluate how successful this has been.
  10. Compile recovery goals, objectives and actions to improve the conservation success of your species and the cost the recovery actions you propose.

Assumed knowledge

BIOL1001 or BIOL1002, and BIOL1003 (Callaghan students)

BIOL1040 and BIOL1070 (or BIOL1050) (Ourimbah students)

Assessment items

Quiz: Online Quizes

Written Assignment: Recovery Plan

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Stakeholder workshop

Participation: Group work assessment

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course students must complete a compulsory lab/fieldwork induction.

Contact hours

Ourimbah and Callaghan

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Computer./group work

Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 21 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.