Field Biology of Australian Wildlife

Subject ZOOL30009 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Jun-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

An enrolment quota of 48 students (in undergraduate and post-graduate offering) applies to this subject. For detailed information on the quota subject application process, enrolment deadlines and selection preferences, refer to the Faculty of Science website:

This subject is taught during a field camp off-campus. Practical work and lectures will be conducted at a field station at Boho South in the Strathbogie Ranges, during the mid-semester break in late September.

Students undertake field trip experiences that will require them to be physically capable of undertaking outdoor field work in remote locations. This subject involves the use of animals - exemption is not possible, however some research projects, that do not use animals, are avaliable for those with strong philosophical objections - this must be discussed with the coordinator.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Four lectures, 60 hours practical work and an oral presentation during a week-long Field-trip held in the mid-semester break in late September. One pre-camp meeting, two tutorials - one pre-camp and one post-camp and an oral presentation on campus post-camp.
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours


Two of

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have received credit for 654-309 Field Biology of Australian Wildlife (prior to 2010) may not enrol in this subject for credit.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Kath Handasyde


Subject Overview:

This field work subject provides an overall perspective on the biology of Australian terrestrial vertebrates: marsupials, monotremes, eutherians, birds, reptiles and amphibians. A key aim is for students to gain experience in designing and conducting a research project on wild animal populations and then preparing a journal style manuscript reporting their findings. Thus they should develop skills in analysing, interpreting and evaluating data and integrating their findings with existing literature and knowledge. Students should also develop skills in detection, population survey, capture, handling, collection of standard morphometric data and identification of wildlife, and assessment of behaviour, reproductive status etc. They will apply these research methods to animals in the wild, and integrate this with knowledge of the biology of these taxa.

Learning Outcomes:

To provide students with an opportunity to engage in an authentic experience of the entire process of scientific research: from translating a general question in animal ecology, behaviour etc., to a specific hypothesis about the relationship between measurable variables; developing an experimental or sampling design; collecting and analysing data; preparing an oral presentation and a draft written report; formally reviewing reports prepared by other students and revising their reports in line with the reviews provided by their colleagues; and finally submitting an individual report for assessment.


Field reports totalling up to 3000 words due during the semester (60%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (40%).

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

This subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to approach and assimilate new knowledge from observation and the literature, an ability to use that knowledge to evaluate and communicate results and working in collaborative teams. The practical and ethical constraints of working on wild animals under field conditions will be emphasized.


This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

This subject was previously known as 654-322 Experimental Wildlife Zoology (prior to 2011)

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Animal Disease Biotechnology (specialisation of Animal Health and Disease major)
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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