ANIM2297 Human-wildlife conflict in the Tropics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit will examine human-wildlife conflict in Sri Lanka. This is a 2 week field project in close collaboration with Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka.

Students will learn about the competing economic and conservation aims and land use in Sri Lanka, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. There are two main agricultural activities, small scale village gardens and large scale commercial tea plantations. Both replace natural forests, the first human-wildlife conflict. Gardens are raided by wildlife, especially monkeys and elephants, creating the second human-wildlife conflict. The wildlife is valued by the tourism industry, creating a third conflict between agriculture and tourism.

UWA students will visit to government departments (National Parks, Forest), industry (tea plantations, village gardens) and NGOs, with suitable work related learning in field situations. Where possible, UWA students may work SUSL students in classes and research projects. Learning outcomes will include a wider and deeper understanding of conversation and development issues, and a greater appreciation of Sri Lankan culture, and rebuilding after a long civil war.

UWA students will compare aspects of human-wildlife conflict in Sri Lanka with those present in Australia. The wildlife species, agricultural systems and culture differ, yet the problems are similar. This unit will allow the students to broaden their experience of a widespread issue across the world
Students are able to (1) understand economic drivers for different socio-economic levels in Sri Lankan Society; (2) understand risks from wildlife for different forms of agriculture and how they may be abated; and (3) learn wildlife monitoring and biodiversity methods, assess utility in different habitats.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) performance assessment on field activities; (2) test on each field activity; and (3) report on own research project. 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)
Associate Professor Theodore Evans
Unit rules
completion of 48 points
Approved quota: 12—quota will be determined using a combination of academic merit , and a 250 word essay (50%, judged by two SBS staff)
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field trip to Sri Lanka- Fee to cover all accommodation, food, transport within Sri Lanka and permits (estimated cost - 2500).
Contact hours
Note: this course is based on a two week field trip to Sri Lanka
10 hours pre-trip lecture-tutorials
10 hours per day for 2 weeks during trip
4 hours post-trip seminars
This project will allow UWA students to get a first-hand, work-related experience of Sri Lanka, and to apply part their coursework to tropical Asian conditions. Student learning outcomes will include experience of Sri Lankan culture and language, local economics, tropical environments, and how these factors influence development goals and challenges. By the end of the project, UWA students will have a deeper understanding of knowledge of Sri Lanka, its diverse people and culture, issues in their economic development and conserving their environment – especially iconic large mammals like elephants and leopards. UWA students will work with contemporaries at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, in a “buddy system”, with SUSL students helping to introduce UWA students to local Sri Lankan languages, manners and cultural protocols, and enhance their awareness of this unique island country.
  • 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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.