You are here

Home > Park management > Environment > Ecosystems > Marine > Sandy plains

Sandy plains

Smooth Stingray (Photo: Mark Norman)

Smooth Stingray (Photo: Mark Norman)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Common Stargazer (Photo: William Boyle)

Common Stargazer (Photo: William Boyle)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Heart Urchin (photo: William Boyle)

Heart Urchin (photo: William Boyle)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Dumpling Squid (photo: William Boyle)

Dumpling Squid (photo: William Boyle)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Sandy habitats are far from being deserts and have a surprising wealth of life. These areas are home to a range of tiny plants and animals that can live in the spaces between the sand grains while larger animals hide beneath the sand.

Scientific surveys have shown that some Victorian sandy environments have the highest levels of animal diversity in the sea ever recorded. In the area around the Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park in Gippsland more than 600 different marine animal species, many of them very small, have been found within an area of 10 square metres.

Animals found in Sandy Plains include Smooth Stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata), Pipi (Plebidonax deltoids), Dumpling Squid (Euprymna tasmanica), Common Stargazer (Kathetostoma leave) and Heart Urchin (Echinocardium cordatum).

Key Threats

  • Fishing or removal of animals and plants
  • Oil and chemical pollution
  • Marine pests which compete for food or space such as the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) or the Japanese Kelp (Undaria pinnatifida)
  • Climate change effects including sea level rise, warming sea surface temperatures, and increasing ocean acidity.

Where to see sandy plains

Related links

Parks Victoria staff return with a haul of rubbish Click to view the news RSS feed.

Rubbish Roundup along Glenelg River Estuary

29 Sep 2014

A combined force of Parks Victoria, the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Nelson Coast-care, Conservation Volunteers Australia and some keen locals have run a river rubbish offensive with great results. The team cleaned up the river foreshore from the mouth of the Glenelg River to the Nelson township last month, and are…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

1 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.

Click to view RSS Feed

Discover the Prom from 1-3 November 2014

1 Nov 2014 12:30pm - 3 Nov 2014 4:30pm

Get to know Wilsons Promontory National Park with a Ranger on a Discovery walk or activity on Melbourne Cup Long Weekend from 1-3 November 2014. A range of activities are available including Junior Ranger activities for 6-12 year olds, StoryTime activities for pre-school age children and guided walks, presentations and…

Click to view RSS Feed

Little Desert Discovery

3 Nov 2014 8:00am - 6 Nov 2014 5:00pm

Make a big difference at Little Desert! Learn about the endangered Mallefowl recovery program, support wildlife monitoring and encounter a range of native wildlife species held at the Little Desert Sanctuary including Suger Gliders, Bruh-tailed Bettongs and Bush-stone Curlews.

Click to view RSS Feed

Grampians Conservation Explorer

3 Nov 2014 8:30am - 6 Nov 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…