No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

BIO480 Ecology and Conservation of Waterbirds (8)


In this subject students study the nature of Australian wetlands, the ecology of waterbirds in Australia, the processes that threaten wetlands and waterbirds and management options to mitigate these processes. In addition to acquiring knowledge of Australian wetlands and waterbirds students will also acquire skills in the critical evaluation of the literature and in the design of management plans to conserve waterbirds. As this requires a high level of previous understanding of bird ecology, it is assumed that a students understanding of ornithology is equivalent to that obtained in Bird Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation (BIO432). The subject has no residential school. On completion of the subject students will be able to identify significant gaps in our current knowledge of wetlands and waterbirds and be able to design management plans to conserve wetlands and waterbirds.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: BIO480
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Environmental Sciences

Assumed Knowledge


Enrolment restrictions

Normally only available to students who are enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Ornithology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have a broad understanding of the range of wetlands within Australia, the basic elements of their ecology, and the decline of wetlands in Australia and globally
  • have an in-depth understanding of waterbird ecology and the relationships between waterbirds and their habitats
  • be able to apply their knowledge of wetland and waterbird ecology to identify gaps in current knowledge and appropriate measures to reverse or alleviate the declines in waterbird populations
  • be able to apply their knowledge of wetlands and waterbird ecology critically to design and implement future research projects and design successful management plans


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • 1. An introduction to wetland ecology
  • 2. The diversity and adaptations of waterbirds
  • 3. Waterbird ecology, including:
  • Trophic adaptations
  • Habitat requirements
  • Population ecology
  • Breeding biology
  • Migration 
  • 4. International approaches to waterbird conservation
  • 5. The design of wetland and waterbird management plans


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.