• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Philip Gibbons
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings


Conserving biodiversity in the face of pressures such as land clearing, pest plants and animals and climate change is a challenge facing land managers and policy-makers globally. This course is about the science and practice of biodiversity conservation. We draw on experts from many areas to contribute to the course and introduce students to prospective employers in this field.


In this course we investigate:


  • Key threats to biodiversity, including habitat modification and loss, unsustainable resource use, introduced species and climate change.
  • Key techniques that are used to mitigate threats to biodiversity, including selecting nature reserves, connectivity and wildlife corridors, ecosystem restoration, sustainable yield, translocation and control of pest plants and animals.
  • Policies to conserve biodiversity including financial incentives, market-based instruments (e.g. auctions), biodiversity offset policies, ecological triage, adaptive management, domestic biodiversity legislation and communicating science to policy-makers.

There is an emphasis on inquiry-based learning, that is, relating the concepts and techniques of conservation biology to real-world situations through a series of weekly field-based practicals and an extended field trip over several days focused on surveying wildlife and their habitats


Honours Pathway Option

This course can be taken as Honours Pathway Option (HPO), subject to the approval of the convenor. HPO students will be expected to show greater depth of understanding of the content of the course. HPO students will submit alternative advanced versions of practical and excursion reports, equivalent to a minimum of 20% of overall assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the key threats to biodiversity and why conservation within, and outside, formal nature reserves is important.
  2. Familiarity with the principles of systematic conservation planning and techniques used to conserve biodiversity within reserves such as control of pest plants and animals and species translocations.
  3. Identify appropriate techniques that can be used to achieve biodiversity conservation outside formal reserves including retention of keystone structures, connectivity and corridors and sustainable yield
  4. Understand the key ecological concepts that underpin, and range of practical techniques used for, ecosystem restoration.
  5. Identify key legislation relevant to biodiversity conservation in Australia and which policy instruments are appropriate for conserving biodiversity in different settings.
  6. Identify appropriate strategies for conserving biodiversity in different settings.

Indicative Assessment


  • Practical exercises (45%) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  • Research report based on field data and augmented by a literature review (30%) [LO 1,2,3,6]
  • Exam (25%) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


65 Contact hours, comprising lectures, practicals, short field excursions and a 3-day field trip.


Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 72 units towards a degree

Prescribed Texts


There is no specific prescribed text. Reading material will be provided throughout the course.


Assumed Knowledge

Previous completion of ENVS2003 Landscape Ecology and Biodiversity is strongly recommended.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2946
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2916
2008 $2916
2007 $2520
2006 $2520
2005 $2520
2004 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3606
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4031 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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