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.
- 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.
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?
- Cape Conran Coastal Park
- Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Anglesea Heath
- Grampians National Park
- Jilpanger Nature Conservation Reserve
Find out more
Deptartment of Environment and Primary Industries – Distribution map and information about the different types of heathlands found in Victoria.
04 Sep 2014
Parks Victoria is currently seeking expressions of interest from experienced commercial builders for the renovation of the historic Mount Buffalo Chalet. The much loved alpine icon building will benefit from the major renewal with construction works due to start early in 2015. The successful head contractor will undertake the major…
22 Sep 2014 12:00am - 3 Oct 2014 12:00am
Parks Victoria’s Discovery program is designed to encourage kids and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Whether it’s discovering mini beasts through a microscope, learning about creatures’ tracks and traces and their habitats, or discovering the fascinating life beneath the sea during a rock pool ramble, kids will…
22 Sep 2014 12:00am - 5 Oct 2014 12:00am
Drop in and pick up your explorer pack from the Mansion with activity sheets, magnifying glass and pencil. Complete the activities and return the pack to collect some Junior Ranger goodies. Activities are available every day of the school holidays.
1 Oct 2014 9:30am-11:00am
Get up close and personal with the animals of Serendip Sanctuary while helping the ranger during feeding time. This activity is suitable for children aged 6-12, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please meet at the Serendip car park picnic area 10 minutes prior to the activity.