What are grassland ecosystems?
Grasslands are dominated by perennial, mostly tufted or tussock-forming grasses and occur on the vast, undulating western volcanic plains, the northern alluvial plains and in Gippsland.
They frequently lie over heavy soils which become waterlogged in winter but dry and crack in summer.
While trees and shrubs are only occasionally present, they are floristically rich, not only in grasses but also in colourful plants from the orchid, daisy, pea and lily families that flower in spring and early summer.
- Kangaroo grass is dominant south of the divide, wallaby grass and spear grass abundant in the north
- Many form ephemeral flooded native meadows in winter
- Soil dries rapidly in summer
- Support rare animals, adapted to changeable environment e.g. the Bush Stone-curlew, Eastern Barred Bandicoot and Striped Legless Lizard
- Aboriginal people used fire to maintain the open nature of the grasslands, stimulate the growth of useful plants and attract animals for hunting
- European settlers found that the expansive grasslands provided good grazing and were easy to convert to cropping and improved pasture.
Less than one per cent of original grasslands remain, in small remnant patches with low viability. These patches are threatened by:
- Weed invasion
- Infrequent fire regimes that inhibit growth of diverse flowering herbs
- Altered nutrient levels that favour weed growth.
Where do I find grassland ecosystems?
Victorian native grasslands occur on the vast, undulating western volcanic plains, the northern alluvial plains and in Gippsland. The following parks help protect some of Victoria’s remaining natural grassland areas:
- Terrick Terrick National Park
- Craigieburn Grassland Nature Conservation Reserve
- Derrimut Grassland Nature Conservation Reserve
Find out more
Melbourne Museum – Grasslands in Victoria – Information about some of the endangered species found in Victoria’s grasslands and a video of the special features of grasslands.
11 Mar 2015
Parks Victoria is inviting the local community to provide feedback on proposed recreational boating and swimming zones at Clifton Springs as part of a wider upgrade across the Bellarine Peninsula and Corio Bay scheduled to commence later this year. The boating and swimming zone upgrades to the Bellarine Peninsula and…
1 Mar 2015 - 31 Mar 2015
A wide variety of events are held at Albert Park throughout the year. Events range from fun runs and sporting tournaments to other community events. See the full calendar here.
30 Mar 2015 8:30am - 1 Apr 2015 6:00pm
Come join our Grampians Naturewise holiday experience in Victoria! You'll join park rangers to track and protect the elusive Brush-tailed Phascogales. Go behind the scenes and enjoy the breathtaking landscape with local walks while assisting with endangered species monitoring. The Grampians National Park has recently captured footage of a rare…
31 Mar 2015 10:00am-11:30am
A rare opportunity to visit spectacular caves located to the north of Buchan. Be prepared for something very special. The tour requires a 14 km drive north of Buchan and a reasonable level of fitness.