BIO432 Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation of Birds. (8)

This subject focuses on bird population ecology and how this relates to the conservation of birds. It builds on students previous university studies in ornithology to explore temporal and spatial variations in population size, population dynamics, population limitation, the structure and demography of populations and competition within populations. The role of social organisation such as territorial behaviour in population limitation is also examined. There is no residential school associated with this subject. Students completing this subject have an understanding of the fundamental logic of bird conservation programs and are able to design projects to collect the information needed to formulate and implement new well-founded bird conservation programs.


Session 2 (60)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BIO432. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is only available to students enrolled in a postgraduate course.

Assumed Knowledge

Assumes knowledge equivalent to the content of BIO430 or BIO433.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the structure and dynamics of bird populations
  • be able to discuss the factors, both natural and anthropogenic, that limit the abundance and distribution of bird populations
  • be able to apply knowledge of bird populations to the conservation of birds, including the identification of threatening processes and how they operate, and the application of population biology to the formulation and implementation of successful conservation programs


This subject will cover the following topics:

  1. the distribution and abundance of bird populations and communities;
  2. bird movements: migration and nomadism;
  3. phylogenetic, environmental and human influences on abundance, distribution and movements;
  4. behavioural ecology: the study of behavioural patterns essential for survival and reproduction;
  5. population and community ecology: the study of behavioural interactions between individuals of the same and different species and their environments; and
  6. conservation biology: the study of behavioural responses to environments changed by human activities, including both threatening and restorative factors and processes, through impact assessment.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of BIO432 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Scientific paper - community ecology
Scientific essay
Scientific paper - conservation

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.