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Grasslands

Fat-tailed Dunnart. Photo: J.Tscharke

Fat-tailed Dunnart. Photo: J.Tscharke

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Grasslands

Terrick Terrick Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

Terrick Terrick Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

2 years ago from 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

What's on

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Westerfolds parkrun

29 Nov 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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Portsea Craft Market

30 Nov 2014 9:00am-2:00pm

Located in one of the Victoria's most picturesque settings, Point Nepean near Portsea. Soak in the exceptional atmosphere and regenerate your senses at this delightful market that specialises on local produce and home made wares. There is something for everyone from old world to modern contemporary, a labyrinth of unique…

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The Melbourne Mega Bat Count

3 Dec 2014

The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…

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Westerfolds parkrun

6 Dec 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families, prams 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…