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This subject will introduce students to the biology of Australia's vertebrate fauna with an emphasis on ecology and behaviour of frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. There will be particular focus on the adaptations of the fauna to the unique and uncertain nature of the Australian terrestrial environment. A variety of topics will be discussed including diversity of Australian vertebrate groups in comparison to other parts of the world; the impact of human activities and introduced animals on native fauna; wildlife diseases; and the ethics associated with research and experimentation on animals.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject students should have an appreciation of the diversity, natural history and uniqueness of a broad range of Australian wildlife; and a sound knowledge of the interactions between wildlife and natural and human-modified environments.
This subject builds upon generic skills developed in first-year subjects, including an ability to approach and assimilate new knowledge and an ability to use that knowledge to evaluate and communicate the ideas. Students should learn how to observe critically and to use the results of those observations to pose and answer theoretical questions and to solve practical problems. They should gain experience in mastering the terminology of a scientific field and then in using that mastery to access an established body of scientific literature and material and to develop the ability to critically evaluate questions and issues in that scientific field. Students should also learn how to collect and interpret data in field situations and write this up as a scientific report.
Last updated: 15 February 2020