UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

BIOL3360 Saving Endangered Species

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Non-standard teaching periodAlbanyMulti-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 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 3 elective
Content This unit commences with a one-week field work component in Albany, during summer (29th January to the 5th of February). Thereafter, commitments include a period of self-study and preparation of assignments, which include a species recovery plan, a scientific report and a short communication paper. As part of the field component, students undertake field work in collaboration with officers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife to analyse the conservation status, threats and biology/ecology of a particular threatened species. The integrated field-based practical and lecture program in the unit provides an overview of various considerations needed for the design of recovery plans and also critically examines the various factors involved in the conservation of threatened species.

Topics covered include assessing the conservation status of species, understanding and managing threatening processes such as habitat loss and fragmentation, fire and dieback, genetic considerations (such as in-breeding) associated with small population sizes, genetic drift and hybridisation, spread of disease, reintroduction, translocation and captive breeding, and conservation of threatened species using protected areas. Students gain an appreciation of the need for careful planning, execution and monitoring of threatened species by developing a species recovery plan for selected threatened species.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the threatened flora and fauna of the South Coast region—the major threatened plant species and communities and where they occur, what their major threats are, and what conservation biology programs are in place to conserve species and their habitats; (2) demonstrate an understanding of basic ideas and concepts in the conservation of threatened plant species through recovery planning; (3) design and carry out a research plan to investigate important aspects of the biology/ecology of threatened species and the threats they are facing; (4) demonstrate an understanding of the risks involved, and precautions taken, when handling endangered species; (5) critically analyse field-collected data on an endangered species, compare these data with the available literature, and present the data in a scientific report; and (6) critically analyse the available data and literature sources for threatened species and use these data to develop a recovery or management plan.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) species recovery or management plan (40 per cent); (2) a scientific report (40 per cent); and (3) a short communication paper (20 per cent). Further information is available 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 Barbara Cook and Professor Stephen Hopper
Unit rules
Prerequisites: BIOL2261 Conservation Biology or ENVT2250 Ecology or ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity or equivalent as approved by Unit Coordinator
Contact hours block taught in early February in Albany before the start of Semester 1 (ancillary charges: cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student); then group-based meetings to assist in assessment preparations during the rest of Semester 1
Unit OutlineTS-H-1A : http://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/BIOL3360/TS-H-1A/2017
TS-P-1B : http://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/BIOL3360/TS-P-1B/2017
Note This unit is recognised by the University as a service learning unit. Service learning refers to community engagement activities that are embedded in units of study, being structured and assessed as formal educational experiences.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.