Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The principles of nature conservation and the paradigm of global biodiversity comprise the core of this course. The past and present impacts of development, invasive species, disease and climate change on biodiversity loss in Australian ecosystems and biomes are analysed. Implications of threatening processes for the management of natural systems and wildlife are considered. The course applies principles of ecology, genetics and spatial analysis to conservation biology at various landscape scales from the local to continental biomes. Levels of organisation of biodiversity from genes to populations, species and ecosystems provide context for understanding theory and practice. The principles of conservation biology are considered against a framework of environmental planning policy and legislation intended to manage biodiversity. Students learn through class work and participation in field studies.



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Define and communicate the key paradigms of Conservation Biology relating to theory and practice of the discipline;

2. Compile and analyse historical, ecological and demographic data to identify causes of population decline and species extinction;

3. Apply the principles of Conservation Genetics to identify and quantify threats to populations and develop solutions;

4. Compile, run and apply ecological models to predict climate and other threats, and apply decision-making tools to generate solutions;

5. Formulate conservation and management strategies to restore and conserve species in landscapes utilizing an understanding of threatening processes and their mitigation acquired in the course;

6. Demonstrate a high level of effective written and oral communication skills relevant to the practice of conservation biology as an applied science;

7. Work as a team member on real conservation projects, displaying an understanding of the importance of roles, effective communication, time planning and individual responsibilities in achieving project outcomes.


Topics will be selected from:

1. What is Conservation Biology?  2. Landscape and spatial scales in Conservation 3. Drivers of extinction of Australian Fauna 4. Conservation Genetics: genetic variation and extinction risks from inbreeding within small populations; genetic rescue; population simulation models 5. Species Distribution Models and Spatial Decision Analysis – explaining species distributions and predicting future distributions under climate change; spatial information systems and databases 6. Invasive species theory; impacts on native fauna; managing invasive species 7. Translocation, reintroduction and assisted migration for the restoration of native fauna, ecological communities and ecosystem services 8. Forest fauna; managing species across large landscapes 9. Urban Ecology – species conservation in the urban landscape; demographics; connectivity and reserve design 10. Biodiversity policy and legislation; biodiversity offsets and biobanking; threatened species and ecological communities; NSW and Commonwealth legislation.


This course replaces EMGT3030. If you have successfully completed EMGT3030 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

ENVS2006 Ecology & Management of Australian Fauna (previously EMGT2050) and

ENVS2004 Ecology (previously BIOL2070)

Assessment items

Participation: Field Work Participation

Report: Written Reports

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Computer Assignments

Formal Examination: Examination

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 safety and fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 36 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Laboratory classes can include fieldwork, data analysis in computer laboratories, and will be completed in a block mode.


Face to Face On Campus 24 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Lectures, computer laboratories and workshops will be completed in block mode.

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.