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BIO2042 - Conservation biology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Paul Sunnucks


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit deals with the environmental problems caused by humans and solutions to redress them. Factors responsible for recent losses of plant and animal species include habitat degradation, pollution, the introduction of exotic species and overexploitation of natural resources. Conservation measures to reduce or eliminate the cause of species extinctions, including captive breeding and reintroduction of endangered species and the storage of genetic material in seed and clone banks, are explored. Demographic and genetic problems involved in conserving small populations are discussed.


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