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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

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Have your say on the future of Westgate Park

30 Sep 2014

Parks Victoria is inviting expressions of interest from members of the community who are interested in becoming part of the Westgate Park Advisory Group and contributing to the development of a Westgate Park Master Plan that will guide management of the park for the next 20 years. Members of the…

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Westerfolds parkrun

25 Oct 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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Australian Rhododendron Society 2014 Convention

25 Oct 2014 9:00am - 26 Oct 2014 4:00pm

This year’s ARS National Conference focuses on the pressing topic of Rhododendron conservation in this time of steeply accelerating forest loss, climate change and human population.

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Ranger Guided Bird Walk - Mount Alexander Regional Park

25 Oct 2014 12:30pm-1:30pm

A walk through the ex koala reserve identifying and recording birds around us To celebrate Bird Week 2014, join a Parks Victoria ranger on a free guided bird watching walk through Mount Alexander Regional Park. The ranger will take you through the ex koala reserve to help identify and record…

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Ranger Guided Bird Walk - Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

26 Oct 2014 9:30am-10:30am

To celebrate Bird Week 2014, join a Parks Victoria ranger on a free guided bird watching walk through Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. The ranger will guide you along the Loddon River to identify and record the park's bird species. All experience levels and ages are welcome – from novice…