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BIO2042 - Conservation biology

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader(s): Dr Paul Sunnucks


Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)


This unit deals with threats to the environment associated with human activities, and potential solutions to redress their impacts. Recent losses of biota have been caused by habitat loss and degradation, climate change and pollution, the introduction of exotic species and overexploitation of natural resources. Science-based conservation measures are explored that may reduce loss of biodiversity/ecosystem function, including habitat preservation and restoration, combating climate change, and intensive conservation of species. We analyse how conservation efforts may involve trade-offs with biological, economic, social and political factors.


On completion of this unit, students will be aware of the key environmental issues currently facing humankind and the role that humans play in environmental degradation and species extinction; have a sound knowledge of conservation techniques that can be used to restore habitats and ecosystem function, and reduce species extinctions; understand the special problems involved in trying to conserve endangered species; and, appreciate the complex political, economic, and social issues involved in conservation biology.


Theory examination (2 hours): 50%
Practical assessment (1 class): 5%
Issues paper (1500 words): 20%
Project: 25%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical (or equivalent)


24 points of level one units



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