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REN3301 Biodiversity and Conservation

Semester 2, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 May 2022


Examiner: Andy Le Brocque


The future management of the earth's natural resources and the conservation of biodiversity requires up-to-date and reliable information and knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines. Biodiversity and conservation are emerging areas of ecological science that take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the processes involved, and problems associated with, the maintenance of the diversity of species, habitats and ecological systems. The course provides an ecological perspective to understanding the Earth’s biodiversity, human impacts leading to its loss and the conservation of biodiversity. The course is of value to professional ecologists, field biologists, environmental scientists, environmental engineers and resource and business managers. The course is also of value to teachers and other educators, and those interested in careers in ecotourism.

The course incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to the study of biodiversity and conservation, with a foundation in ecological theory and principles as a basis for the conservation and management of natural, production and disturbed systems. The concept of biodiversity, key threatening processes and theories regarding extinction and biodiversity loss are examined. The impact of humans on the Earth's biodiversity and current practices and problems in conservation are also examined, in both global and regional settings.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. describe the concept of biodiversity, its measurement and the significance of conservation values;
  2. assess and contrast the factors and key threatening processes responsible for the extinction of organisms and biodiversity loss;
  3. integrate the theoretical basis of biodiversity conservation into current practices and problems in conservation management;
  4. critically evaluate approaches for the conservation of biodiversity to assess current and potential conservation problems.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Biological Diversity and Conservation Science: Biodiversity Concept; Patterns in Biodiversity; Speciation and Extinction; Humans and Biodiversity. 30.00
2. Ecological Processes in Conservation: Conserving Species; Genetic basis to Conservation; Conserving Species and Populations; Conserving Ecosystems. 30.00
3. Principles for Conservation: Protected Areas Management, Ecological Restoration; Conservation Management; Sustainability and Challenges for Conservation. 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Sher, AA & Primack, RB 2019, An Introduction to Conservation Biology, 2nd edn, Sinauer Associates: Oxford University Press, New York.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz A1 of 4 No 5 1,2
Assignments Written Case Study No 10 1,2,3,4
Assignments Written Quiz A2 of 4 No 5 1,2,3
Assignments Written Quiz A3 of 4 No 5 2,3,4
Assignments Written Essay No 25 2,3,4
Assignments Written Quiz A4 of 4 No 5 3,4
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 45 1,2,3,4
Date printed 17 May 2022