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Sandy plains

Smooth Stingray (Photo: Mark Norman)

Smooth Stingray (Photo: Mark Norman)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Common Stargazer (Photo: William Boyle)

Common Stargazer (Photo: William Boyle)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Heart Urchin (photo: William Boyle)

Heart Urchin (photo: William Boyle)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Sandy plains

Dumpling Squid (photo: William Boyle)

Dumpling Squid (photo: William Boyle)

Photo by: 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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Staplyton Campground re-opens after upgrade

23 Sep 2016

Popular Staplyton campground in the north end of the spectacular Grampians National Park will re-open on Saturday 24 September, in time for school holidays and for visitors to enjoy. Completed upgrades to the campground have been part of the extensive works undertaken by Parks Victoria to restore and improve areas…

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Fun scary play based on the history of the Mansion. Follow the actors throughout the Mansion and the story unfolds as you move from room to room.

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1 Oct 2016 1:00pm-2:30pm

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Helmeted Honeyeater Community Workshop Yelingbo

6 Oct 2016 10:00am-3:00pm

Find out how you can assist with Helmeted Honeyeater recovery and learn about the work undertaken to protect this amazing bird and other species that co-exist with it.