Wildlife Crime and the Law

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An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on Australia’s democracy and legal system. The teaching ideas in this resource assist students to gain knowledge and understanding of how Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, through the rule of law.  Links to curriculum code: ACHCK050 / VCCCL022

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on how citizens can participate in Australia’s democracy, including use of the electoral system, contact with their elected representatives, use of lobby groups, and direct action.  Links to curriculum code: ACHCK062 / VCCCG020

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on how Australia’s legal system works to support a democratic and just society.  Links to curriculum code: ACHCK078 / VCCCL034

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on the Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK091 / VCCCG031

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on how Australia’s international legal obligations shape Australian law and government policies, including in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK093 /  VCCCL032

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on what are the challenges and ways to sustain a resilient and cohesive democracy.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK094 / VCCCC036


Specific lessons in this theme can also be used to support the teaching of lower secondary Science.

Learning Intentions

Resource Focus

​​​​​​Our Australian plants, animals and landscapes are unique and free from many pests and diseases found around the world and because of this Australian and state and territory governments are committed to protecting Australia’s biodiversity and economy through a range of strategies and legislation.

Australia’s animal, plant and human health will remain protected when individuals understand and abide by the laws created to protect these elements. As members of the Australian community, we all have a role to play and there are a number of ways that we can protect Australia from unwanted pests, diseases, and the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

This resource provides students in years 7-10 with the opportunity to explore what is meant by biosecurity, with a particular emphasis on wildlife crime; and the impact they are having in Australia. It explores the laws and measures that government are putting into place to protect Australia’s animal, plant and human health, examples of wildlife crimes currently being committed in Australia, and the role that can be played by individuals.

Students Understand:

  • What it meant by the term ‘biosecurity’ and its importance to society
  • What is wildlife crime
  • Wildlife, biosecurity, and the law
  • The forms of wildlife crime occurring in Australia
  • That Australians are committed to fighting wildlife crime
  • How to recognise wildlife crime and report it.

Lesson Ideas

Further Student Enquiry

  • Listen to the three-part podcasts Be a Biosecurity Warrior. Break into pairs and write a radio script describing how students in your school could be biosecurity warriors. Record your interviews and share them as a class.
  • Explore as a class the Interpol Thunder 2021 Operation involving customs, police, financial intelligence units and wildlife and forestry enforcement agencies in 118 countries. Students draw a bar or column graph describing the types and amounts of illegal wildlife seized during the operation.
  • Read as a class the article Australian Government adds 127 native reptiles to international anti-wildlife trafficking treaty. Discuss why the federal government has added 127 native reptiles to the treaty. Create a storyboard describing the key message of the article.
  • In groups of six, identify and research three native animals being trafficked in your state or territory. Design a Break the Chain campaign highlighting the need to protect these animals. Your campaign may include stickers, posters, videos, podcasts and information sheets. Share as a class or via a school assembly.



  • Many of the activities in the lesson ideas can be used to collect information about the level of knowledge and understanding of the topics listed under Learning Intentions. These include class discussions and completed handouts.
  • Using information provided in Lesson 1, students create a storyboard describing how wildlife trafficking occurs in Australia.
  • Students complete an anticipation exercise exploring what may be legal or illegal under the EPBC Act.
  • Students to explore their particular state or territory legislation and complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast their purpose with the aims of the EPBC Act.
  • After reading the article Bound, gagged, posted; investigating Australia’s cruel, corrupt illegal wildlife trading students are to write a ‘blurb’ highlighting the key messages presented.


  • Students research and write a summary about a specific biosecurity issue impacting on Australia.
  • Students use details of a specific exotic wildlife being illegally imported into Australia or a native Australian animal being illegally exported out of Australia to write a media statement highlighting the issue to the public.
  • Students write an essay on the topic “We’ve got to talk: Wildlife Crime in Australia.” Their essay should include information gathered throughout this theme.