BIOL3360 Saving Endangered Species

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Non-standard teaching periodAlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Conservation Biology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit commences with a one-week field work component in Albany in the first week of February each year. Thereafter, commitments include a period of self-study and preparation of assignments, which include a species recovery plan, a scientific report and a video response. As part of the field component, students undertake field work in collaboration with officers from the Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to analyse the conservation status, threats and biology/ecology of a selected 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.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the distribution of, and threats faced by the threatened flora and fauna of the South Coast region, and the conservation measures adopted to conserve these species and communities; (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 the 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 the data to develop a recovery or management plan.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) multi-species recovery plan; (2) scientific report; and (3) video response. 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
BIOL2261 Conservation Biology
ENVT2250 Ecology
ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity
equivalent as approved by unit coordinator
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 (estimated cost - Up to $750).
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
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 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.