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

Hidden treasures Click to view the news RSS feed.

New research shows Wilsons Prom marine life rivals Great Barrier Reef

24 Aug 2015

Amazing marine life deep beneath the sea in Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park has been revealed thanks to new technology that has allowed scientists a glimpse of the unusual marine communities for the first time. Spectacular reefs containing colourful sponge gardens, corals, and abundant fish species are just some of…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

What's on at Albert Park

1 Jul 2015 12:00am - 30 Jun 2016 12:00am

A wide variety of events are held at Albert Park throughout the year. Events range from fun runs and sporting tournaments to other community events. See the full calendar here.

Click to view RSS Feed

The Father's Day Bike Ride

6 Sep 2015 7:00am-11:00am

Celebrate dads everywhere and raise vital funds to support men’s health and the important role fathers play in the lives of Australian children. This is a fun, family-friendly event open to all ages and abilities, with two cycling events to choose from: The Mattioli Challenge – 7.00am The Family Bike…

Click to view RSS Feed

You Yangs Mountain Bike Club - Cressy Descent 2015

12 Sep 2015 - 13 Sep 2015

Race against the clock DOWN everyone’s favourite track 13! This is NOT a downhill specific race, more a timed run down the track. Everyone is encouraged to enter. Doesn’t matter what type of bike you have, AM, XC, DH, HT, BMX or even a unicycle, they all go down hills…

Click to view RSS Feed

Friends of Kooyoora Wildflower Show

19 Sep 2015 9:30am - 20 Sep 2015 5:00pm

The event features an extensive display of local wildflowers, with twice daily bus tours, (bookings essential), and a major photographic competition in the categories of local landscapes, flora and fauna. Other features for the weekend will include static displays and digital presentations from the Friends Group, the Inglewood Eucalyptus Museum,…