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Heathlands

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What are heathland ecosystems?

Heathlands are characterised by dense, low shrubs with scattered, twisted trees – a function of the harshness of the environment where they occur.

They support a very high floral diversity, a large number of small mammals and rich bird life. They are widespread in Victoria, particularly near the coast and in the south-west.

Heathland facts

  • Occur where drainage is poor so distribution is often patchy
  • Soils have extremely low levels of nutrients
  • Dominated by tough, hard leaved plants and terrestrial orchids - many are rare or threatened in the state.

Threats

Fire is a fundamental environmental factor. Fire allows regeneration of many small ground layer species, however fire regimes that are too infrequent or too large in scale pose a major threat to this ecosystem.

Heathlands support more than 80 species of birds and small marsupials such as dunnarts, bandicoots and potoroos and mammals such as the Swamp Rat and New Holland Mouse, which are prone to predation by foxes.

Heathlands are also particularly prone to Phytophthora cinnamomi (a fungal dieback) and invasion by woody native species

Where do I find heathlands?

Find out more

Deptartment of Environment and Primary Industries – Distribution map and information about the different types of heathlands found in Victoria.

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Rubbish Roundup along Glenelg River Estuary

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A combined force of Parks Victoria, the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Nelson Coast-care, Conservation Volunteers Australia and some keen locals have run a river rubbish offensive with great results. The team cleaned up the river foreshore from the mouth of the Glenelg River to the Nelson township last month, and are…

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Westerfolds parkrun

25 Oct 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the park.

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Australian Rhododendron Society 2014 Convention

25 Oct 2014 9:00am - 26 Oct 2014 4:00pm

This year’s ARS National Conference focuses on the pressing topic of Rhododendron conservation in this time of steeply accelerating forest loss, climate change and human population.

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Ranger Guided Bird Walk - Mount Alexander Regional Park

25 Oct 2014 12:30pm-1:30pm

A walk through the ex koala reserve identifying and recording birds around us To celebrate Bird Week 2014, join a Parks Victoria ranger on a free guided bird watching walk through Mount Alexander Regional Park. The ranger will take you through the ex koala reserve to help identify and record…

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Ranger Guided Bird Walk - Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

26 Oct 2014 9:30am-10:30am

To celebrate Bird Week 2014, join a Parks Victoria ranger on a free guided bird watching walk through Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. The ranger will guide you along the Loddon River to identify and record the park's bird species. All experience levels and ages are welcome – from novice…