Grasslands are dominated by perennial, mostly tufted or tussock-forming grasses and occur on the vast, undulating western volcanic plains, the northern alluvial plains and in Gippsland.
They frequently lie over heavy soils which become waterlogged in winter but dry and crack in summer.
While trees and shrubs are only occasionally present, they are floristically rich, not only in grasses but also in colourful plants from the orchid, daisy, pea and lily families that flower in spring and early summer.
More about grasslands
- Kangaroo grass is dominant south of the divide, wallaby grass and spear grass abundant in the north
- Many form ephemeral flooded native meadows in winter
- Soil dries rapidly in summer
- Support rare animals, adapted to changeable environment e.g. the Bush Stone-curlew, Eastern Barred Bandicoot and Striped Legless Lizard
- Aboriginal people used fire to maintain the open nature of the grasslands, stimulate the growth of useful plants and attract animals for hunting
- European settlers found that the expansive grasslands provided good grazing and were easy to convert to cropping and improved pasture.
Less than one per cent of original grasslands remain, in small remnant patches with low viability. These patches are threatened by:
- Weed invasion
- Infrequent fire regimes that inhibit growth of diverse flowering herbs
- Altered nutrient levels that favour weed growth.
Where to see grasslands
08 Jun 2017
Ensuring suitable habitat for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus) is the focus of a $300,000 funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative.Bruce Wehner, Parks Victoria Regional Area of Work Coordinator,said Plains-wanderers are a grassland bird species with very specific habitat requirements, which must be managed using…
5 Jun 2017 10:00am - 3 Jul 2017 3:00pm
An exhibition of beautiful bird photos taken by Dr. Rohan Clarke will be presented in the upstairs rooms of Coolart Homestead during June. The photos are from Dr. Geoffrey Maslen's 'An Uncertain Future - Australian BirdLife In Danger.
2 Jul 2017 9:00am-3:00pm
Enjoy a day in the outdoors, connecting with nature and helping koalas in the You Yangs Regional Park and the Western Plains near Melbourne. You will search for koalas, take walks through bushland with naturalists and remove weeds and plant trees for koala habitat, in the company of a highly…
3 Jul 2017 9:00am - 14 Jul 2017 4:00pm
Parks Victoria’s Discovery program encourages children and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Programs run every school holidays across the state and include a range of fun and interactive activities. Highlights of the Winter Discovery Program at the Prom include opportunities to: * Visit the Prom’s Nursery and…
3 Jul 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm
This historical tour provides a unique opportunity to view a cave that is rarely open to the public and is part of the same cave system as the Royal and the Fairy show caves. Lit only by solar-powered pathway lights, you are provided with a helmet and headlight to view…