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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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Hands on work a bonus for students

17 Jul 2014

Parks Victoria Ranger Shane Reger has been providing hands on working experience for TAFE and University students for nearly twelve years. Over that time he’s shown hundreds of young people how to put into practice what they’re learning in the classroom. This time the lucky group were three students doing…

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Westerfolds parkrun

23 Aug 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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Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

24 Aug 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Take a journey of discovery along the Fosters Gully Nature Walk where the forests and undergrowth provide food and shelter for many species of birds and animals. If you are quiet you may be able to see and hear many of the species of wildlife that live in the park.…

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Westerfolds parkrun

30 Aug 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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Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

31 Aug 2014 9:30am-10:20am

A superb loop walk that winds through woodland, wet heathland & along boardwalks. Along the way you will encounter a variety of flora including hakeas, wattles, tea-trees, mistletoe, swamp bush pea and button grass. This guided walk is run by Friends of Bunyip State Park.