What are mallee ecosystems?
Mallee ecosystems take their name from the small, multi-stemmed eucalypts which feature lignotubers (mallee roots) just below the soil surface, which store carbohydrates and water, and allow the tree to reshoot from the base if stems are destroyed by fire.
The blanket of sandy soil which characterises the mallee, has created a gentle scenery and superficially simple landscape, with species of mallee and understorey of saltbush, heathy shrubs, sedges, grasses or ephemeral herbs varying subtly according to soil type, depth and salinity.
- Low, unreliable rainfall, high summer temperatures and poor fertility of the sandy soils are a key characteristic – leading some parts to be called ‘deserts’
- Surprisingly diverse flora and fauna including many species of reptiles
- Small nocturnal ground-dwelling mammals use burrows for breeding and protection
- Has a distinctive range of birds including the Mallee Fowl which constructs huge mounds of sand and litter to incubate its eggs
- Parrots are prominent, including the colourful Mallee Ringneck, Major Mitchell Cockatoo and Regent Parrot.
- Grazing by exotic animals (e.g. rabbits, goats)
- Predation by foxes
- Weed invasion
- Increased temperatures and decreased rainfall are potential threats to species that already ‘live on the edge’
- A potential increase in the frequency of large, intense fire events is also a threat to species that require ‘old-growth’ habitat.
Where do I find mallee ecosystems?
- Murray-Sunset National Park
- Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
- Wyperfeld National Park
- Little Desert National Park
- Big Desert Wilderness Park
Find out more
Deptartment of Environment and Primary Industries – Distribution map and information about mallee ecosystems found in Victoria.
Melbourne Museum – Mallee in Victoria – Information about Victoria’s mallee and a video about the conservation of the Malleefowl.
01 Oct 2014
Ten years ago a group of like-minded people got together to form The Friends of Werribee Park, with the aim of enhancing the visitor experience at Werribee Park. Their decade of dedication to this historic place will be recognised with a soiree at the Mansion on October 16. The group…
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.
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…
26 Oct 2014 9:30am-10:30am
See the wonderful display of wildflowers including peas, daisies and tiny orchids and small birds. Stay for a picnic, walk around the old township or visit the Steiglitz Courthouse. Light refreshments will be provided following the walk. Public toilets available. This guided walk is run by Friends of Brisbane Ranges…
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…