ZOOL19002 - Australian Vertebrate Fauna

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Australia is renowned for its unique and diverse vertebrate animals. This unit will provide you with an introduction to Australian vertebrate diversity and to the necessary tools to understand the evolutionary, morphological, behavioural and ecological diversity of Australian vertebrate fauna against the backdrop of global vertebrate diversity and evolution. You will learn to use a wide variety of ‘tools’ (taxonomy, phylogeny, fossils, ecophysiology, comparative anatomy, behavioural ecology) as methods for understanding the past, current, and future vertebrate fauna of Australia. You will also learn and practice the applied skill-sets and techniques required for fauna survey and wildlife research in Australia, proficiency in identification of Australian vertebrates and technical report writing for wildlife monitoring and surveying.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisites: (BIOL11099 Living Systems OR BIOL11102 Life Sciences Laboratory) 

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

Term 2 - 2024 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 50%
2. Laboratory/Practical 0%
3. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

No previous feedback available

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: SUTE Unit Comments
The residential school was extremely interesting and was very helpful for my learning, I don't think I could have passed the unit without the residential school.
The residential school is designed to be an immersive practical learning opportunity that links classroom theory with real world application.
Action Taken
The residential school remains the center piece of the unit, linking classroom theory with real world application.
Source: SUTE Unit Comments
Keep the res school.
The residential school will continue to be a key focus of the unit.
Action Taken
The residential will continue to focus on using high technology equipment to survey Australian Vertebrate Fauna in the natural environment.
Source: Verbal feedback during residential school.
Found the use of the remote monitoring technology a valuable experience.
Continue to employ and teach the use of non-invasive remote monitoring technology to monitor Australian wildlife.
Action Taken
Source: Verbal feedback during residential school.
Appreciated the use of acoustic software to identify and analyze bat calls.
Maintain and continue teaching the use of acoustic software analysis and identification of Australian bat calls
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the evolution, diversity and distribution of major vertebrate fauna in Australia
  2. Explain the significance of behavioural, reproductive, physiological, and nutritional adaptations in Australian vertebrates
  3. Apply knowledge about the biology of a species to their applied conservation and management to explain why invasive species pose a threat to Australian vertebrate fauna
  4. Practice industry and ethical standards and techniques in monitoring, surveying Australian vertebrate fauna
  5. Communicate knowledge and study findings in verbal and written scientific reports.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Laboratory/Practical
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10