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Wildlife Field Techniques: Animal Handling and Survey Methods



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Mixed (online and in-person)


5 wks


Avg 16 hrs/wk

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The ability to handle wildlife safely is crucial in many workplaces. These skills are also essential for workers who encounter wildlife during bushfires or other natural disasters. This course will equip participants with the skills and confidence to handle and transport wildlife safely and humanely, and/or carry out wildlife surveys.

About this microcredential

In this microcredential, participants will learn how to design and carry out wildlife surveys using industry-standard techniques whilst developing the skills to safely and humanely handle native wildlife.

The four-week online component of the microcredential covers animal ethics, standard operating procedures, work health and safety considerations, disease control procedures, basic animal first aid, relocation and transport of wildlife, and appropriate design of wildlife surveys.
During the hands-on field trip, participants will carry out wildlife surveys and learn how to safely and effectively handle a diverse range of native wildlife likely to be encountered in the field or in the workplace.

Key benefits of this microcredential

This microcredential has been designed to equip participants to:

  • Gain skills in planning and executing wildlife surveys
  • Learn to safely and effectively handle a broad range of native wildlife.

This microcredential aligns with the 4 credit point subject, Wildlife Field Techniques: Animal Handling and Survey Methods (60005) in the Master of Science (C04241).

This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Digital badge and certificate digital badge example for UTS Open short courses

A digital badge and certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the relevant assessment requirements and attainment of learning outcomes of the microcredential.  

Learn more about UTS Open digital badges.

Who should do this microcredential?

This microcredential is accessible to graduates, the public and professionals from a wide range of industry sectors (ecological consultancies, mining sectors, local councils, rural fire service, bush regenerators, Wires, RSPCA, zoos, and government departments) and backgrounds who seek to learn how to safely handle and relocate native wildlife or effectively design and carry out wildlife surveys using industry standard methods.


Full price: $2,815 (GST free)*

Special price: $1,895 (GST free)*

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase.

Enrolment conditions

Course purchase is subject to UTS Open Terms and Conditions. 

COVID-19 response 

UTS complies with latest Government health advice. Delivery of all courses complies with the UTS response to COVID-19.

Additional course information

Course outline

The course consists of four online modules and a three-day field trip to Shoalhaven Zoo, a wildlife park in Nowra.

Online modules cover animal ethics, work health and safety when dealing with animals, wildlife first aid, and standard operating procedures for carrying out wildlife surveys, and handling and transporting wildlife. Pre-readings will be supplied to participants. 

The field trip will give participants hands on experience working with wildlife. On the first afternoon, participants will work in small teams to design a fauna survey targeted at terrestrial mammals and reptiles. Each team will then deploy a series of traps (Elliott traps, funnel traps, pipe traps and cage traps) designed to capture arboreal and terrestrial vertebrates. In the evening, groups will carry out spotlighting to detect arboreal mammals.

On day two, each group will check their traps in the morning and will learn how to accurately record data, identify animals to species, and safely handle animals captured inside traps. Participants will have the opportunity to handle animals, identify them, and take standard measurements of mass, gender, and reproductive status. During this practical session, participants will discover the benefits and drawbacks associated with different trapping methods and handling techniques. In addition, participants will learn how to deliver basic first aid to wildlife, safely release dangerous animals that can be captured inside traps, and humanely treat and transport injured wildlife that might be encountered on worksites or during natural disasters (e.g. bushfires).

In the subsequent training exercises, participants will carry out a series of practical tasks which will help them to develop the skills needed to safely handle larger wildlife (wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, koalas) that are frequently encountered on work sites or after natural disasters. These sessions will run throughout the day, and will involve a series of talks, practical demonstrations and workshops. In the late afternoon, each group will reset their trapping lines. After dinner, participants will have the opportunity to survey frog ponds and identify frogs based on their calls and external features.

On day three, participants will check their trap lines early in the morning and will have the opportunity to practise the skills that they learned on day two. After breakfast, participants will carry out additional practical tasks to fine tune their skills in handling larger animals. After lunch, there will be practical demonstrations of how to safely remove and transport venomous snakes from a work site. Participants will then have the opportunity to use industry certified tools (hoop bags and snake sticks) to deal with snakes in a range of workplace situations.  

The final session will involve a short practical quiz and skills test to ensure that participants have attained the level of competency necessary to work with wildlife in the workplace.

Course delivery

This course incorporates a range of teaching and learning strategies, including hands-on practical field work, live presentations, discussions, case studies and group activities. Online workshops are scheduled throughout the teaching period for participants to interact with instructors and peers, followed by a three-day group field trip to a wildlife park.

Course learning objectives

Participants who complete this course will gain skills in planning and executing wildlife surveys, and safely handling native wildlife. These skills will benefit participants seeking a career in the environmental consultancy industry, in zoos or aquariums, or in government or non-government organisations.

We envisage that staff working in the broader environmental sector, rural fire service, and animal care groups would gain additional skills and capabilities that would benefit their employers.


Assessment for this microcredential includes:

  • Online quiz
  • Practical assessment during the Shoalhaven Zoo field trip.

Participants must complete all assessment tasks, including practical assessment tasks scheduled for the field trip, and achieve an overall mark of 50% (pass) or above.



  • Availability to attend three-day field trip to Shoalhaven Zoo, a wildlife park in Nowra, on the nominated dates.
  • Participants will need to bring long pants, closed footwear, long-sleeved shirts and raincoats for the field workshop. Camping onsite will be optional and participants may choose to stay at nearby accommodation in Nowra.
  • To complete this online course, you will need a personal computer with adequate internet access and sufficient software and bandwidth to support web conferencing. You will also require an operating system with a web browser compatible with Canvas.

Offsite course logistics

Catering (field trip)

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included for the field trip.

Accommodation (field trip)

  • Camping on site is optional, and motel accommodation is also available in nearby Nowra (own expense).

Acknowledgement of Country

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.