BIO216 Conservation Biology (8)

Conservation biology is the scientific study of the Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting genetic diversity, species, their habitats and ecosystems. In this subject, students build on their understanding of ecology to learn about genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, the main threats to biodiversity, and the current mass extinction crisis due to anthropogenic influences. We review a range of management approaches that are used in conservation biology to increase genetic health, population numbers and ecosystem functioning. Current and emerging conservation issues with potential socio-economic consequences are explored and discussed. On completion students are able to make professional judgments to generate possible strategies and courses of action to address conservation issues.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BIO216. 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

Students who have completed BIO416 cannot enrol in this subject

Assumed Knowledge


Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain and summarize the key terminology, principles and concepts underpinning conservation biology.
  • be able to explain and discuss the current biodiversity crisis, threatening processes and the need for conservation.
  • be able to analyse conservation strategies and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies that are implemented for the conservation of biodiversity.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Topic 1: Introduction to conservation biology
  • Topic 2: Biodiversity-what are we trying to save?
  • Topic 3: Extinction
  • Topic 4: Rarity, vulnerability and conservation status
  • Topic 5: Threatening processes I: Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation
  • Topic 6: Threatening processes II: Overexploitation and invasive species
  • Topic 7: Threatening processes III: Global climate change
  • Topic 8: Conservation at the species level
  • Topic 9: Conservation genetics
  • Topic 10: Conserving ecosystem diversity I: Parks and reserves
  • Topic 11: Conserving ecosystem diversity II: Beyond park boundaries
  • Topic 12: Reintroductions, captive breeding and restoration ecology

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of BIO216 in Session 2 2020. 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 %
Impact of novel diseases on native species
Population bottlenecks and inbreeding effects
Final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.