What are alpine ecosystems?
The alps are characterised by granite and sandstone peaks with rounded mountain tops and plateaus.
The highest mountain areas support a rich mosaic of heathland, grassland and alpine bog communities.
At slightly lower altitudes these ‘treeless islands’ give way to subalpine woodlands comprising small, multi-stemmed, snow gums usually less than 10m tall.
- A mere 0.5 per cent of Australia is truly ‘treeless’ alpine.
- Climatic conditions are harsh
- Typically covered in snow for more than a third of the year
- Plants and animals have evolved to cope with environmental extremes – low temperatures, high winds, snow cover for long periods and seasonal inundation
- Many species are found only in the alpine area including several species at risk of extinction, such as the Baw Baw Frog, Alpine Water Skink, Mountain Pygmy-possum and Stirling Stonefly.
Alpine-adapted species are vulnerable to:
- Climate change impacts such as changes in snow cover, streamflows and frequency of large scale wildfire
- Weed invasion
- Grazing by exotic animals and predation by foxes.
Where to find alpine ecosystems?
Find out more
Australian Alps National Parks – Comprehensive information about Austalia’s alpine national parks across Victoria, NSW and the ACT.
Deptartment of Environment and Primary Industries – Distribution map and information about the alpine and sub-alpine habitats found in Victoria.
Melbourne Museum – Alps in Victoria – Information about some of the endangered species found in the Victorian alps.
05 May 2015
The huge contribution volunteers make to Victoria’s parks is being acknowledged this National Volunteer Week, 11-17 May 2015. Locally, the Friends of Eastern Otways group and other volunteers are being thanked by Parks Victoria for their outstanding efforts and help in protecting and increasing the Hooded Plover population along the…
1 May 2015 - 31 May 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.
6 May 2015 8:30am - 8 May 2015 6:00pm
Work alongside Parks Victoria in threatened species recovery monitoring for the four large Forest Owls including: Powerful, Barking, Masked and Sooty Owl. Approximately 4-5 hours each evening will be spent out in the field. The Forest Owl Monitoring program is managed by Parks Victoria. Activities involve owl playbacks for response,…
7 May 2015 5:30pm-10:00pm
Woodlands Historic Park comes to life at dusk with kangaroos, wallabies, possums and other wildlife springing into action. We will be looking out for the Eastern Barred Bandicoots and learning about the program to save them from extinction. We start the evening with a light dinner under the stars before…
9 May 2015 10:00am-2:00pm
Werribee Park’s on site nursery, which is run by all of our combined friends groups, is bursting at the seams with over 1600 plants now ready for sale. All of the plants have been propagated by Werribee Park volunteers and students. Plant sale will run from the Nursery area adjacent…