You are here

Home > Park management > Environment > Ecosystems > The alps

The alps

Old Snow Gum. Photo: Mark Antos

Old Snow Gum. Photo: Mark Antos

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

Bogong High Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

Bogong High Plains. Photo: Mark Antos

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

Koala

Koala

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The alps

Alpine Ash sappling. Photo: Mark Antos

Alpine Ash sappling. Photo: Mark Antos

Photo by: 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

Become a Junior Ranger for a day for Parks Victoria’s biggest ever Bioblitz Project Click to view the news RSS feed.

Discover Victoria’s amazing biodiversity during the school holidays

09 Sep 2016

Do you and your kids love getting outdoors and discovering the hidden secrets and many wonders of nature in our parks– from quirky minibeasts like legless lizards to the huge variety of birds, mammals, and plants including rare orchids? Join the fun and become a Junior Ranger for a day…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

What Was That!

9 Sep 2016 8:00pm - 29 Oct 2016 8:00am

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.

Click to view RSS Feed

Down to Earth

24 Sep 2016 8:00pm - 17 Dec 2016 8:30pm

Down to Earth is a theatrical production performed at the Werribee Park farm at night. Set in 1862 it combines the history of the farm with interactive comedy and scary elements. Suitable ages 10 and up. Dates available 24 sept, 14, 22 October, 4 November 9 and 17 December.

Click to view RSS Feed

Lilly Pilly Cave Tour

27 Sep 2016 11:00am-12:30pm

Lilly Pilly Cave Tours or Murrindal Cave Tours A rare opportunity to visit spectacular caves located to the north of Buchan. Be prepared for something very special. The tour requires a 14 km drive north of Buchan and a reasonable level of fitness. Discounts apply for multiple tours. Do both…

Click to view RSS Feed

Federal Cave Tour

27 Sep 2016 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…