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Grasslands

Fat-tailed Dunnart. Photo: J.Tscharke

Fat-tailed Dunnart. Photo: J.Tscharke

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Grasslands

Terrick Terrick Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

Terrick Terrick Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Grasslands

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.

Key Threats

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

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Barefoot Cinema

27 Dec 2016 6:00pm - 28 Jan 2017 11:00pm

A unique outdoor cinema held over a number of nights in December and January set amongst the picturesque grounds adjacent to the historic Commanding Officer’s House. Offering stunning views, delicious food and great movies to enjoy in a relaxed and intimate open air setting, it’s a must do on the…

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Wilsons Promontory summer Discovery Program

28 Dec 2016 - 25 Jan 2017

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 interactive and fun and interactive activities. Highlights of the Summer Discovery Program at the Prom include opportunities to: Uncover the secrets of…

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Croajingalong National Park Summer Discovery Program

28 Dec 2016 12:00am - 27 Jan 2017 12:00am

Come along and join in the fun in nature by becoming a junior ranger. Enjoy a rockpool ramble or a beachcombing walk with a ranger who will help you discover the wonders of the deep by uncovering what lies on the shore. Bookings essential.

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Cape Conran Coastal Park Summer Discovery Program

29 Dec 2016 12:00am - 24 Jan 2017 12:00am

Come along and be part of the fun in nature. There will be ranger guided activities for everyone, including fishing clinics, rock pool rambles, and beachcombing walks, where you will discover what lies beyond the breakers by uncovering what has washed up on the shore. Bookings are essential to guarantee…