BIOL426-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Conservation Biology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


This course covers aspects of biology that are useful in applied conservation situations. In other words, how can ecologists help to preserve biodiversity? Topics covered include: what is rarity; extinction rates past and present; limiting factors in endangered species management; adaptive management of NZ species; reserve design in theory and practice; conservation and climate change. This course complements BIOL429 which looks at conservation genetics.

The aim of the course is to look at parts of science can help to preserve biodiversity. This includes
theoretical considerations of rarity, extinction, and the value of biodiversity, along with practical
studies of what management methods work, and why.

We will not discuss conservation genetics, which are covered in the companion course
BIOL429 Conservation Genetics.

We will not be centrally concerned with issues of morals, values, or sociology, although
these will inevitably be touched on. Remember that you may have value judgements about what is
“better” but others in the class may have different values. In the course we encourage you to
concentrate on scientific facts, and use these to develop informed opinions on the topics covered.

Recommended preparatory course(s): BIOL 374, BIOL375, BIOL377, BIOL378, BIOL 379 or BIOL384

Learning Outcomes

As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:
 Acquire an in-depth appreciation of important concepts in conservation biology, across a
range of taxa and ecosystems (assessment task: final exam);
 Display a high level of critical thinking including critique and synthesis of conservation
biology research, development of hypotheses, and integration of theory and applications
(assessment: essay and final exam);
 Develop a high level of communication skills in a range of modes, including tutorial
discussions, report writing/critique, and formal essays (assessment: essay and final exam);
 Develop skills in literature searching, and rapid but effective reading of scientific literature
(assessment: essay);

Transferable Skills Register / Pūkenga Ngaio
As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
 Discovery, synthesis and interpretation of information (GP1)
 Evaluation of arguments and evidence, and debating alternative points of view (GP2)
 Writing formal prose to summarise factual information (GP2)
 Engaging in science and technology issues with a broader understanding of their social
context, and how New Zealand’s conservation issues fit in a global context. (GP5)
GP1-5 refer to Graduate Profile attributes: (1) Critically competent in a core academic discipline
of their degree; (2) employable, innovative and enterprising; (3) biculturally competent and
confident; (4) engaged with the community; and (5) globally aware.


Subject to approval of the Head of School.



Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 16:00 - 17:00 Jack Erskine 121
15 Jul - 21 Jul
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 13:00 Jack Erskine 445
29 Jul - 18 Aug
9 Sep - 29 Sep

Timetable Note

Tutorial Topics and Timetable / Wātaka

The sequence of topics is given below.
The UC Timetable currently has it running on Fridays 1100–1250 hrs but check for updates.

25 July 1. Global Directions for Conservation Translocations by 2030 Axil
08 August 2. Community conservation * tentative- to be finalized Axil
22 August 3. To be decided Sara

September Study Break

12 Sept 4. To be decided Sara
19 Sept 5. A global perspective on challenges to biodiversity loss and endangered species management. Hazel
26 Sept 6. Invasive species and conservation in the Anthropocene Hazel


Hazel Chapman and Sara Kross

Guest Lecturer

Dr Axel Moehrenschlager (Erskine Visitor)


Note that the course assessment will be subject to the Biology policy on late submission of work, and essays may be required in both hard and electronic formats so we can run plagiarism checking software on them (see below). Also note that Biol policy requires you to score at least 40% in the interm work (essay) and at least 40% on the final exam, and get an overall mark of at least 50%, to pass the course.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL426 Occurrences

  • BIOL426-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024