Animal Behaviour

Knowledge of animal behaviour is important for anyone interested in areas such as conservation biology of native birds, the control of pest species, evolutionary biology, population ecology and the efficient and humane management of farm animals.
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Why study Animal Behaviour?

Animal Behaviour is available as a minor.

Completing this minor will provide you with an understanding of how developmental processes can influence animals’ behaviour, mechanisms that trigger or control behaviours, what functions certain behaviours might serve for an animal, and how behaviours might have evolved over time.

The combination of fundamental and applied topics studied at Waikato allows you to work toward a better understanding of some of the world’s ecological problems and to better appreciate the unique attributes of our native animals. You will also be able to use both biological and psychological approaches to address issues in the fields of animal conservation, wildlife management, animal welfare and the fundamental study of behaviour.

New Zealand is the only place in the world where you can study a unique native fauna dominated by birds, reptiles and invertebrates. These are animals that have evolved over tens of millions of years in isolation from terrestrial mammals. This makes New Zealand popular with those studying Zoology and Animal Behaviour.


As a student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, becoming familiar with complex research equipment and techniques. You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Career Opportunities

  • Animal Welfare Officer
  • Conservation officer
  • Research Assistant
  • Science Writer
  • Zoo Curator or Keeper
  • Technician

Hamilton, Tauranga

Scholarships and Prizes

Anne Shannon Scholarship  

Not currently accepting applications
For students who are enrolled in their second year of full-time study (120 points) in either a BSc or BSc(Tech) majoring in Ecology & Biodiversity or Molecular & Cellular Biology. Applicants must be enrolled in at least 60 points of papers coded BIOEBxxx or BIOMOxxx.

Browse all available scholarships.

Subject requirements

To complete a minor in Animal Behaviour, you must complete 60 points (usually four papers) from the papers listed in the Catalogue of Papers, including BIOEB200 and BIOEB301.

Animal Behaviour papers