UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

BIOL2261 Conservation Biology

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyMulti-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Conservation Biology major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit aims to develop a critical approach to current issues in conservation biology. It examines the following five broad themes: (1) What biodiversity is there? How did it get there (evolutionary history)? Which processes maintain it? (2) Why should we conserve it? (3) What are the threatened genes, species and communities? (4) What are the threatening processes? (5) What actions can be taken to conserve biodiversity? Students are aware of the fundamental linkages between good science and conservation management and the critical engagement between government, universities, business and the community in generating effective conservation outcomes. The unit also introduces students to fundamental science and scientific thinking and approaches to problem solving in ecology, population genetics, species biology and decision theory that underpin modern conservation biology.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the different concepts of biodiversity (genetic, species and community), the consequences of these concepts for conservation and the evolutionary background of the biodiversity of Australia; (2) understand the reasoning why conserving biodiversity is essential (utilitarian as well as intrinsic values); (3) understand examples of threatened ecosystems and species (both locally as well as globally), their protection by law (national/international), and different concepts on how to prioritise global conservation efforts; (4) have a thorough understanding of the major processes threatening Australian as well as global biodiversity and the consequences of their interactions; (5) have a good understanding of our current efforts to prevent species and community extinctions (i.e. conservation through reserves, botanical gardens and zoos, landscape restoration and reconciliation ecology), and the role of our economic system in driving conservation decisions and outcomes; (6) locate and critically analyse the available data and literature sources on a particular Australian plant or animal group by writing a team report, as well as an individual concluding section, on the conservation biology of that group; and (7) understand the role and efforts of the major conservation-related organisations in WA (Department of Parks and Wildlife, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth Zoo, WA Museum, Conservation Council, Wilderness Society, WWF).
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) report on the conservation biology of a nominated plant or animal group; (2) excursion attendance; and (3) a final examination (for which a mark of 50 per cent or more is required to pass the unit). Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite standard(s) for the report on the conservation biology of a nominated plant or animal group component of the unit, as specified in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Pieter Poot and Dr Nicola Mitchell
Unit rules
Prerequisites: BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (formerly BIOL1130 Core Concepts in Biology) or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
Contact hours lectures: 2 hours per week; practical sessions: 3 hours per week
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/BIOL2261/SEM-2/2017
Recommended
reading

Lindenmayer, D. and Burgman, M. Practical Conservation Biology: CSIRO Publishing 2005


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