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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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Have your say on Devilbend watercraft access

20 Feb 2017

Parks Victoria is inviting the community to comment on plans to introduce non-powered recreational boating, including canoes and kayaks, in a section of Devilbend Natural Features Reserve. Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is recognised internationally for its importance in the conservation of bird populations. Over 44 species of birds call Devilbend…

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Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2017

14 Jan 2017 - 17 Apr 2017

The Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2017 presents a series of 4 exhibitions, by: Association of Sculptors of Victoria Basketmakers of Victoria Contemporary Art Society of Victoria A4 Art Australia The Gallery on Herring Island will be open every weekend from 14 January through 17 April, including Australia Day holiday…

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Wilsons Promontory Labour Day Weekend Discovery Program

11 Mar 2017 - 12 Mar 2017

Parks Victoria’s Discovery program encourages children and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Programs include a range of interactive and fun activities. Highlights of the Labour Discovery Program at the Prom include opportunities to: Join Marco Festa-Bianchet from the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec and University of Melbourne on…

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Multicultural Children's Picnic

22 Mar 2017 10:30am-1:00pm

The Children's Multicultural Picnic will be a celebration of different cultures and the enrichment this brings to children and family lives. A range of activities will be on offer with opportunities for families to participate and promote activities from their own culture and learn about other cultures. Held at Brimbank…