BIOL273-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

New Zealand Biodiversity and Biosecurity

This occurrence is not offered in 2021

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


An overview of the indigenous flora and fauna of New Zealand, including their biogeographic origins, the unique and unusual aspects of native organisms, the makeup of native communities, and their interactions with introduced organisms. Emphasis will be placed on the role of biological invaders in modifying New Zealand ecosystems.

What’s not to love about New Zealand’s biodiversity?

In this course, students interested in the ecology, evolution, conservation of New Zealand plants and animals are provided with an overview of New Zealand’s biogeographic origins, the unique and unusual aspects of native species, their interactions with introduced species, and the makeup of native communities.

These topics will help students to understand what is so special about New Zealand’s biodiversity, as well as the challenges that it is facing.

This knowledge provides a framework for other courses with a focus on ecology, evolution, and conservation.

Students will also learn biodiversity monitoring skills as part of field work on campus and in Riccarton Bush.

The data that they generate during this field work will be used inform the UC campus development plan.

Finally, students will learn literature-research skills by writing a case study on an invasive species in New Zealand.

Learning Outcomes

  • As a Student in this Course, I will develop the ability:
  • to describe the processes that lead to the evolution and development of the New Zealand flora
     and fauna (assessment tasks: online tests and final exam; Critically competent);
  • to understand the effects of human activities on the past and current states of New Zealand’s
     biodiversity, and on its future (assessment tasks: online tests, literature review, final exam;
     Critically competent; Biculturally competent and confident);
  • to understand the factors that have led to the decline in biodiversity and the importance of
     biosecurity in maintaining the remaining biodiversity (assessment tasks: online tests, literature
     review, final exam; Globally aware);
  • to be able to identify key components of the local flora and fauna in the field (assessment tasks:
     field trip and lab report; Employable, innovative and enterprising);
  • to be able to access the primary scientific literature reviewing the current state of knowledge on
     any species of plant or animal in New Zealand (assessment task: literature review; Critically
     competent; Employable, innovative and enterprising; Biculturally competent and confident);
  • to discuss the importance of considering all stakeholders in conservation studies of taonga
     species (assessment tasks: literature review, online tests, final exam; Biculturally competent
     and confident);
  • to discuss how Māori colonisation of NZ led to substantial loss of forest cover and extinction of
     wildlife, and then how this was continued (to present) by subsequent European colonisation
     (assessment tasks: literature review, online tests, final exam; Biculturally competent and c
     confident; Globally aware);
  • to become familiar with and use Māori, English and scientific names when communicating about
     New Zealand biota (assessment tasks: literature review, online tests, lab report, final exam;
     Critically competent; Employable, innovative and enterprising; Biculturally competent and

    Transferable Skills Register
    As a Student in this Course, you will develop the following skills:
  • The ability to search peer-reviewed literature and write a review of the primary scientific literature on an invasive plant or animal and its impact on the native New Zealand biota. (Critically competent; Employable, innovative and enterprising)
  • A knowledge of the basics of plant and animal identification in the field, as well as simple practical skills in the survey of biodiversity. (Critically competent; Employable, innovative and enterprising)
  • An understanding of the diversity of the New Zealand flora and fauna, how it arose, and the current threats to its survival. (Critically competent; Biculturally competent and confident




Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Jim Briskie


Pieter Pelser and Jonathan Harding

Lab Technician

Linda Morris

Additional Course Outline Information

Assessment and grading system


What if I have written more than the word or page limit?

If there is a word limit on an assignment, it is usually there to stop you doing too much work and to encourage you to write succinctly.  It also makes things easier to assess.  You can be up to 10% over without too much worry, but if the length increases beyond that your mark may suffer due to failure to follow the requirements.  If you find yourself way over the word limit have a chat to the lecturer concerned about how to trim your assignment to an acceptable length.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $910.00

International fee $4,438.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL273 Occurrences

  • BIOL273-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021 - Not Offered