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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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Funding for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer

08 Jun 2017

Ensuring suitable habitat for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus) is the focus of a $300,000 funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative.Bruce Wehner, Parks Victoria Regional Area of Work Coordinator,said Plains-wanderers are a grassland bird species with very specific habitat requirements, which must be managed using…

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Australian Birdlife In Danger

5 Jun 2017 10:00am - 3 Jul 2017 3:00pm

An exhibition of beautiful bird photos taken by Dr. Rohan Clarke will be presented in the upstairs rooms of Coolart Homestead during June. The photos are from Dr. Geoffrey Maslen's 'An Uncertain Future - Australian BirdLife In Danger.

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Koala Conservation Day for Locals

2 Jul 2017 9:00am-3:00pm

Enjoy a day in the outdoors, connecting with nature and helping koalas in the You Yangs Regional Park and the Western Plains near Melbourne. You will search for koalas, take walks through bushland with naturalists and remove weeds and plant trees for koala habitat, in the company of a highly…

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Wilsons Promontory Winter Discovery Program

3 Jul 2017 9:00am - 14 Jul 2017 4:00pm

Parks Victoria’s Discovery program encourages children and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Programs run every school holidays across the state and include a range of fun and interactive activities. Highlights of the Winter Discovery Program at the Prom include opportunities to: * Visit the Prom’s Nursery and…

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Federal Cave Tour

3 Jul 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm

This historical tour provides a unique opportunity to view a cave that is rarely open to the public and is part of the same cave system as the Royal and the Fairy show caves. Lit only by solar-powered pathway lights, you are provided with a helmet and headlight to view…