ANIML SC 3019RW - Ecology and Management of Vertebrate Pests III

Roseworthy Campus - Winter - 2024

This course strongly emphasises the field application of vertebrate pest control techniques and provides the theoretical bases for these techniques. Topics covered are the biology and ecology of vertebrate pests; the damage caused by pest animals; the legislative and administrative aspects of vertebrate pest control; district organisations; extension; vertebrate pest control practice. Note: There is a 5 day field trip as a compulsory component of this course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANIML SC 3019RW
    Course Ecology and Management of Vertebrate Pests III
    Coordinating Unit School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    Term Winter
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Roseworthy Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 10 days in Winter Semester (5 days lectures and practical plus 5 days fieldwork)
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1101 or BIOLOGY 1401, and BIOLOGY 1202
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description This course strongly emphasises the field application of vertebrate pest control techniques and provides the theoretical bases for these techniques. Topics covered are the biology and ecology of vertebrate pests; the damage caused by pest animals; the legislative and administrative aspects of vertebrate pest control; district organisations; extension; vertebrate pest control practice.
    Note: There is a 5 day field trip as a compulsory component of this course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Wayne Boardman

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 describe the biological parameters that underpin the application of control techniques to pest populations
    2 apply pest control techniques
    3 describe the environmental and agricultural imperatives for pest control
    4 recognise the welfare implications of pest control
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    3, 4

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    The main reference book referred to in class is:
    Olsen, P. (1998) Australia’s Pest Animals: New Solutions to Old Problems. Bureau of Resources Sciences, Canberra.
    Copies of this book (and other useful books) are available in the Roseworthy Library. Copies will also be available on the field trip.

    Access to field trip location.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    A combination of lectures, short field excursions and a field camp (five days).

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in this course will be expected to attend each scheduled day of activities (approx 8hrs per day) for the formal contact time required for the course (e.g., lectures and practicals). In addition, a student will have to undertake non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision) for the preparation of the assignment and revision for the exam.
    Learning Activities Summary

    • The Natural Resources Management Act and how it applies to vertebrate pest management in South Australia
    • Strategic Management of Vertebrate Pests
    • An outline of the biology, impacts and management of various exotic and native vertebrate pest species - including rabbits, deer, rodents, goats, pigs, camels, birds, foxes, cats, kangaroos and wombats
    • Disease and Vertebrate Pests
    • Unintended Consequences of Vertebrate Pest Management
    • Impacts of Climate Change

    Two tutorials will be held to complement the lectures and answer any questions that the students may have. These tutorials will take place during the first week of the course.

    Short Field Excursions
    Short field excursions will be held in the first week of the course. These will focus on identification of vertebrate pests and their impacts, and the management options available.
    In particular we will focus on practical issues around rabbit, fox, deer and southern hairy-nosed wombat impacts and management and the role of authorized officers.

    Field Camp
    Compulsory five-day field trip held at Gum Creek Station in the Flinders Ranges.
    The camp will focus on
    • recognising pest impact, the survey methods used to measure impact, and the various tools available for contrilling these vertebrate pest species,
    • impacts of a variety of vertebrate pest species including: rabbits, goats, foxes, cates, dogs and kangaroos on the semi arid farming and natural environments in this region,
    • benefits of vertebrate pest management to recovery of threatened species locally (DEW Bounceback Program).
    Specific Course Requirements
    Attendance at the five-day field camp is compulsory.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Hurdle?
    Weighting Learning Outcome Due
    Field Camp Based Skills Formative No 10% 1, 3, 4 Week 2
    Essay Formative & Summative No 30% 1, 2, 3, 4 Week 2
    Theory Examination Summative No 60% 1, 2 Week 3
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Task with compulsory component
    Requirement to meet compulsory component
    Additional assessment available if student does not meet compulsory component? Additional assessment if available
    Attendance at the field trip is compulsory Attendance at the field trip Yes, additional assessment will be provided if the student is unable to attend the field trip due to approved absence Online activities and an additional written assignment
    Assessment Detail
    Field Camp Based Skills (10%)
    Camp assessment will be based on the observation of field skills, approach and aptitude of students to field work during the 5 day field trip to Gum Creek Station. Each student will be scored on their field skill competency (including participation and engagement), and their ability to answer technical and ethical questions during group discussions. Competencies being assessed include: setting camera traps, leg hold traps, cage traps; checking traps; 1080 bait preparation and M44 bait delivery; use of a GPS; and collecting field and observational data. This will be on-going assessment throughout the 5 day camp with an open discussion between the students and supervisors of the field program each day.

    Essay (30%)

    Each student will submit a 2000 word essay based upon one of the vertebrate pest species discussed during the course (eg. rabbits, rodents, foxes, cats, wild dogs, camels, wombats, kangaroos).

    The essay will cover:
    (i) the history and background on the pest species selected
    (ii) critical steps / considerations in planning a control program for that pest species
    (iii) the options and the steps involved in implementing a control program
    (iv) monitoring the effectiveness of a control program on the vertebrate pest species and legislative responsibility and community expectations.

    Theory exam (60%)
    A 2.5 hour theory examination is provided in the third week. The exam will cover all aspects of the course, and will consist of short and long answer questions.
    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A mark of zero will be allocated to late submitted assessment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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