You are here

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

Mudflats

Wavy Volute (Photo: Jonathon Stevenson)

Wavy Volute (Photo: Jonathon Stevenson)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Sharptailed Sandpiper (Photo: Sarah Green)

Sharptailed Sandpiper (Photo: Sarah Green)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Moon Snail (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Moon Snail (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Flatworm (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Flatworm (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Mudflats

Soldier Crab (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Soldier Crab (Photo: Mark Rodrigue)

2 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

Spotted-tailed Quoll caught on camera in Great Otway NP Click to view the news RSS feed.

Endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll sighted in Great Otway National Park

07 Aug 2014

An endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll has been sighted in the Great Otway National Park for the first time in 24 years. Related to the Tasmanian Devil, and colloquially known as the ‘Tiger Quoll’, the animal was caught on a remote camera set up as part of an ongoing program by Parks…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

23 Aug 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.

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

24 Aug 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Take a journey of discovery along the Fosters Gully Nature Walk where the forests and undergrowth provide food and shelter for many species of birds and animals. If you are quiet you may be able to see and hear many of the species of wildlife that live in the park.…

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

31 Aug 2014 9:30am-10:20am

A superb loop walk that winds through woodland, wet heathland & along boardwalks. Along the way you will encounter a variety of flora including hakeas, wattles, tea-trees, mistletoe, swamp bush pea and button grass. This guided walk is run by Friends of Bunyip State Park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Grampians Conservation Explorer

1 Sep 2014 8:30am - 4 Sep 2014 5:30pm

We will take you behind the scenes on this exclusive, small group adventure as you work alongside a Parks Victoria Ranger to 'track and protect' the elusive Brush-tailed Phascogales, which are on Victoria's threatened species list. You will sample some of the region's best wines, see ancient Aboriginal rock art…