• 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, Environmental Science, Resource and Environmental Management
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Philip Gibbons
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    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.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand and explain the key threats to biodiversity and why conservation within, and outside, formal nature reserves is important. (LO1)
  2. Apply 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. (LO2)
  3. Identify and apply appropriate techniques that can be used to achieve biodiversity conservation outside formal reserves including retention of keystone structures, connectivity and corridors and sustainable yield  (LO3)
  4. Understand and apply the key ecological concepts that underpin, and range of practical techniques used for, ecosystem restoration. (LO4)
  5. Identify and critique key legislation relevant to biodiversity conservation in Australia and which policy instruments are appropriate for conserving biodiversity in different settings. (LO5)
  6. Identify, and argue a reasoned case for, appropriate strategies for conserving biodiversity in different settings. (LO6)

Indicative Assessment

  • Practical exercises (40%, LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Report (25%, LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Blog entry (15%)
  • Test (20%, 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.


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


Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS3039

Prescribed Texts

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



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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2017 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8889 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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