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Ecosystems

Terrestrial Ecosystems

Ecosystems are generally recognised by the characteristic vegetation they support. Victoria’s land area supports a wider range of ecosystems than any area of a similar size in Australia: alpine, mallee, grasslands and grassy woodlands, forests, heathlands and heathy woodlands, inland waters and estuaries, and coasts.

Victorian natural ecosystems support at least:

  • 3140 native species of vascular plants
  • 900 lichens
  • 750 mosses and liverworts
  • 111 mammals
  • 447 birds
  • 46 freshwater and 600 marine fish
  • 133 reptiles
  • 33 amphibians
  • an untold number of invertebrates, fungi and algae.

This richness, in the number of different ecosystems and different species, and the genetic variety they exhibit — is what we call biodiversity.

Parks play a crucial role in protecting Victoria’s ecosystems including the numerous habitats, floral and faunal communities and ecosystem services (e.g. clean air, clean water) they support.

Parks protect 93 per cent of Victoria’s native flora species and 86 per cent of native fauna species. Our ecosystems are a scientific, cultural, spiritual and economic inheritance that is distinctly Victorian, and one that we must conserve and manage for future generations.

Marine Ecosystems

Marine ecosystems are the combination of the animals and plants which depend on each other in some way that make up marine communities, and the physical environment and supports them. Victoria’s marine environment is shaped by the high energy cool waters of the Southern Ocean and the relatively calmer but warmer waters of the south-western Pacific. Our marine ecosystems have developed independently from other major marine regions of the world which has resulted in many species being found nowhere else.

Victoria’s marine ecosystems support more than 12,000 species of marine animals and plants, most of which are found nowhere else in the world

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Have your say on the future of Westgate Park

30 Sep 2014

Parks Victoria is inviting expressions of interest from members of the community who are interested in becoming part of the Westgate Park Advisory Group and contributing to the development of a Westgate Park Master Plan that will guide management of the park for the next 20 years. Members of the…

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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…