Dry forests and woodlands
What are dry forests and woodland ecosystems?
There are many types of dry forests and woodlands occurring across the drier northern slopes of the Great Divide, as well as in Victorian foothills, coasts and plains.
Stringybark forests dominate the near-coastal landscape east of Western Port; grassy woodlands are scattered throughout the Western district; and box-ironbark forest cover a wide arc from west of Stawell to east of Wangaratta.
During the gold rush, huge areas of forest were cut to provide wood for fuel and building. Forests were also cleared for agriculture, particularly in the more fertile plains and valleys. The remaining forests are fragmented and prone to invasion by weeds and pest animals.
Dry forests and woodlands facts
- They support a wide variety of plants and animals including a range of reptiles and significant mammals such as the Brush-tailed Phascogale, Squirrel Glider and Regent Honeyeater
- Have an understory of native wallaby, spear, kangaroo, tussock and weeping grasses and herbs which respond well to low intensity fire
- Support some of the state’s rarest orchids
- Old and dead trees provide habitat for a variety of animals
- Birds, such as the Swift Parrot, travel long distances to feed in the trees and shrubs at peak flowering times.
- Weed invasion
- Over grazing by introduced and native herbivores
- Phytophthora cinnamomi (a fungal dieback).
Where do I find dry forests and woodlands?
- Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park
- Heathcote-Graytown National Park
- Mount Eccles National Park
- Grampians National Park
- Brisbane Ranges National Park
- Warby Ranges State Park
Find out more
Deptartment of Environment and Primary Industries – Distribution maps and information about the different type of dry forest and woodland ecosystems found in Victoria.
Melbourne Museum – Dry forests in Victoria – Information about Victoria’s dry forests and videos about animals , the role of fire and conservation work in these areas.
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