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.
30 Oct 2014
Forty artists recently enjoyed drawing and photography workshops at Braeside Park in an innovative solar-powered workspace designed especially for people with a disability. Parks Victoria and Arts Access Victoria partnered to organise the workshops in ‘Nebula’, a fully self-contained and mobile work space, gallery and performance venue owned by Arts…
21 Nov 2014 - 23 Nov 2014
Sport event offering 20 Sports Open to all... Companies, clubs, govt departments Co-workers, family and friends Established to encourage companies to support their employees' pursuit of a healthier more a healthier more active lifestyle
24 Nov 2014 8:00am - 27 Nov 2014 6:00pm
Support the recovery of native mammals, birds and reptiles through hands-on conservation on the Glenelg Ark project. Experience the best that South-west Victoria has to offer, including the magnificent Cape Nelson Lighthouse, volcanic features of Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, picturesque surrounds of Cape Bridgewater, and one of Australia’s largest Fur…
28 Nov 2014 7:00pm-8:30pm
Fun, low key Mountain Bike racing suitable for beginner racers and juniors (13yrs and over)
29 Nov 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.