You are here

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

Sandy plains

Smooth Stingray (Photo: Mark Norman)

Smooth Stingray (Photo: Mark Norman)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Common Stargazer (Photo: William Boyle)

Common Stargazer (Photo: William Boyle)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Heart Urchin (photo: William Boyle)

Heart Urchin (photo: William Boyle)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Dumpling Squid (photo: William Boyle)

Dumpling Squid (photo: William Boyle)

3 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

Damaged sandhills Click to view the news RSS feed.

Ancient sandhills damaged by off road bikes

12 Dec 2014

Patrols will be stepped up to identify off-track motor bike riders causing damage to rare plants and significant cultural heritage sites at two sand hill sites on Sand Hill Track off O’Reillys Road, between Gunbower and Cohuna. Yorta Yorta Nations Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC) Cultural Heritage Officer Ray Ahmat said the…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Junior Ranger holiday program

29 Dec 2014 12:00am - 24 Jan 2015 12:00pm

Join in for some fun ranger-guided activities these holidays.

Click to view RSS Feed

Junior Ranger holiday program

29 Dec 2014 12:00am - 24 Jan 2015 12:00pm

Join in for some fun ranger-guided activities these holidays.

Click to view RSS Feed

Junior Ranger holiday program

31 Dec 2014 12:00am - 12 Jan 2015 12:00pm

Join in for some fun ranger-guided activities these holidays.

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

1 Jan 2015 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…