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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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Lake Charlegrark clear of blue green algae

20 Jul 2016

Lake Charlegrark is once again safe for water sports, swimming and fishing, Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger Mark Urquhart said today. “Blue green algae has been present in this popular destination for 18 months, resulting in public health warnings for people and pets against contacting or ingesting the water,” he…

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Science In The Park: Wildlife Counts

14 Aug 2016 10:00am-3:00pm

Join PrimeSCI!; the LabRats Student Science Club for a day of fun hands on science activities. 'Young scientists' learn to identify and monitor local species of birds, frogs, koalas, ants and freshwater invertebrates. Or hear from researchers from Westernport Biosphere, Platypus Education Group and other presenters in the wetlands observatory.

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Friends of Glen Nayook working bee

25 Sep 2016 9:00am-11:00am

Loop track maintenance. Morning tea provided.

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Days Mill Open Day

25 Sep 2016 10:30am-1:30pm

The historic site will be open to the public as part of the Activities in the Park program supported by the City of Greater Shepparton. Come along to take a tour of the best preserved 19 century flour mill in Victoria and learn more about its history. The mill is…

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Friends of Glen Nayook working bee

6 Nov 2016 9:00am-11:00am

Maintenance and AGM. Morning tea provided.