You are here

Home > Park management > Environment > Ecosystems > Marine > Mudflats

Mudflats

Wavy Volute (Photo: Jonathon Stevenson)

Wavy Volute (Photo: Jonathon Stevenson)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Sharptailed Sandpiper (Photo: Sarah Green)

Sharptailed Sandpiper (Photo: Sarah Green)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Moon Snail (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Moon Snail (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Flatworm (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Flatworm (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Soldier Crab (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Soldier Crab (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Mudflats are places without vegetation where low tides leave soft muddy sediments exposed to the air. They are important feeding areas for many birds and fish.

Mudflats are teeming with worms, small crustaceans such as crabs and burrowing shrimp, and a variety of snails and other molluscs, many of which use broken down organic debris washed into these areas for food.

Mudflats are made up of very fine particles that restrict water movement into the soil and have little oxygen below the surface. This contributes to the black colour and smelly gases produced in these habitats. These characteristics are due to the activities of bacteria that can survive in the thick airless mud.

Most animals that live in the mud have burrows or special features that allow them to get oxygen from the water above. Animals found in mudflats include Soldier Crab (Mictyris platycheles), Flatworm (Platyhelminthes), Moon Snail (Polinices conicus), Sharptailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminate) and Wavy Volute (Amoria undulate).

Key Threats

  • Poor water quality entering the sea from catchments
  • Fishing or removal of animals and plants
  • Marine pests such as the European Green Crab (Carcinus meanus) or green algae known as Broccoli Weed (Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides)which compete for food or space
  • Boat and anchor damage in shallow areas
  • Oil and chemical pollution
  • Climate change effects including sea level rise, warming sea surface temperatures, and increasing ocean acidity.

Where to see mudflats

Related links

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

What's on for May in Albert Park

1 May 2015 - 31 May 2015

A wide variety of events are held at Albert Park throughout the year. Events range from fun runs and sporting tournaments to other community events. See the full calendar here.

Click to view RSS Feed

Night Owl Naturewise Experience

6 May 2015 8:30am - 8 May 2015 6:00pm

Work alongside Parks Victoria in threatened species recovery monitoring for the four large Forest Owls including: Powerful, Barking, Masked and Sooty Owl. Approximately 4-5 hours each evening will be spent out in the field. The Forest Owl Monitoring program is managed by Parks Victoria. Activities involve owl playbacks for response,…

Click to view RSS Feed

Bandicoots Night Watch

7 May 2015 5:30pm-10:00pm

Woodlands Historic Park comes to life at dusk with kangaroos, wallabies, possums and other wildlife springing into action. We will be looking out for the Eastern Barred Bandicoots and learning about the program to save them from extinction. We start the evening with a light dinner under the stars before…

Click to view RSS Feed

Werribee Park Friends Groups Plant Sale

9 May 2015 10:00am-2:00pm

Werribee Park’s on site nursery, which is run by all of our combined friends groups, is bursting at the seams with over 1600 plants now ready for sale. All of the plants have been propagated by Werribee Park volunteers and students. Plant sale will run from the Nursery area adjacent…