You are here

Home > Park management > Environment > Ecosystems > The alps

The alps

Old Snow Gum. Photo: Mark Antos

Old Snow Gum. Photo: Mark Antos

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

Bogong High Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

Bogong High Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

Koala

Koala

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

Alpine Ash sappling. Photo: Mark Antos

Alpine Ash sappling. Photo: Mark Antos

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

 

The alps are characterised by granite and sandstone peaks with rounded mountain tops and plateaus.

The highest mountain areas support a rich mosaic of heathland, grassland and alpine bog communities.

At slightly lower altitudes these ‘treeless islands’ give way to subalpine woodlands comprising small, multi-stemmed, snow gums usually less than 10m tall.

More about the alps

  • A mere 0.5 per cent of Australia is truly ‘treeless’ alpine.
  • Climatic conditions are harsh
  • Typically covered in snow for more than a third of the year
  • Plants and animals have evolved to cope with environmental extremes – low temperatures, high winds, snow cover for long periods and seasonal inundation
  • Many species are found only in the alpine area including several species at risk of extinction, such as the Baw Baw Frog, Alpine Water Skink, Mountain Pygmy-possum and Stirling Stonefly.

Key Threats

Alpine-adapted species are vulnerable to:

  • Climate change impacts such as changes in snow cover, streamflows and frequency of large scale wildfire
  • Weed invasion
  • Grazing by exotic animals and predation by foxes.

Where to see the alps

Pelican colony in Mud Islands, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park Click to view the news RSS feed.

Partnership breathes new life into Mud Islands

27 Jun 2014

Parks Victoria and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority are working together to protect saltmarsh habitats in and around Port Phillip as part of a $1.29m Australian Government program over five years to undertake revegetation and pest plant and animal control in areas that are critical for endangered species such as…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

National Tree Day plantings

27 Jul 2014 9:30am-1:30pm

Friends of Dandenong Valley Parklands invite you to join them in planting shrubs under the trees in Shepherds Bush next to Nortons Park. BBQ lunch provided. Families welcome.

Click to view RSS Feed

The First Shot Commemoration

5 Aug 2014 11:00am-5:00pm

Tuesday 5 August 2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of the first shot fired in the British Empire in World War I. This shot was fired from Coastal Artillery Gun Emplacement 6 at Fort Nepean on 5 August 1914 at 12:45pm, just 3 hours 45 minutes after war was declared…

Click to view RSS Feed

The Melbourne Mega Bat Count

6 Aug 2014

The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

6 Aug 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Enjoy the fresh air of this beautiful park and get an insight into the park’s fascinating history, flora and fauna. This free guided walk run by Friends of Tarra Bulga National Park will lead you across the famous Corrigan Suspension Bridge which stretches through the rainforest canopy, and on either…