Environment Park Subotopic Layout
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The park supports a range of vegetation from Sheoak and Messmate woodlands to Manna Gum and Swamp Gum forests. A number of vegetation communities are identified as regionally significant with the Heathy woodland on the lower slopes south of Seawinds, of State significance.
More than 25 species found in the park are considered rare or uncommon on the Mornington Peninsula with four of these listed as either nationally or state threatened such as the Purple Eyebright.
Unfortunately, large areas are infested with environmental weeds. Parks Victoria has implemented a weed mapping and works strategy in conjunction with the many friends groups. This program aims to control the spread, if not eradicate introduced plants from the park.
As one of the largest remaining areas of habitat on the Mornington Peninsula, the park supports a diverse range of native animals, particularly birds, maintaining the areas biodiversity.
Several species of State significance have been recorded such as the Lewin’s Rail and Powerful Owl. Species of regional importance include the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Koala, Tree Goanna, Southern Emu-wren and Wedge-tailed Eagle.
Fire is an important part of the Australian landscape with many indigenous flora species reliant on fire for regeneration. Fire can alter vegetation structure and diversity and in some cases help minimise weed infestations.
However the wrong fire frequency or intensity can also have a negative impact on our local landscapes by promoting weeds. Regrowth from large fires in the 1970’s has created dense under stories of Teatree and more recently (1997) the introduction of boneseed and blue bell creeper.
Fire management within Arthurs Seat State Park is reliant on careful planning and the existence of a comprehensive fuel reduction burning program. The program aim is to minimise the risk to human life, adjacent property and park values in the case of a wildfire.
Where possible the fuel reduction program also incorporates positive ecological effects promoting a variety of vegetation types and age within the ecosystem. This variety works to increase habitat diversity for local fauna.