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The mallee

Belah Woodland (Photo: P.Sandell)

Belah Woodland (Photo: P.Sandell)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The mallee

Desert Baeckea (Photo: Mark Antos)

Desert Baeckea (Photo: Mark Antos)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The mallee

Bandy Bandy (Photo: J.Tscharke)

Bandy Bandy (Photo: J.Tscharke)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The mallee

Wyperfeld. Photo: Mark Antos

Wyperfeld. Photo: Mark Antos

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The mallee

Bluebush, Murray-Sunset NP. Photo: P.Sandell

Bluebush, Murray-Sunset NP. Photo: P.Sandell

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: The mallee

Mallee ecosystems take their name from the small, multi-stemmed eucalypts which feature lignotubers (mallee roots) just below the soil surface, which store carbohydrates and water, and allow the tree to reshoot from the base if stems are destroyed by fire.

The blanket of sandy soil which characterises the mallee, has created a gentle scenery and superficially simple landscape, with species of mallee and understorey of saltbush, heathy shrubs, sedges, grasses or ephemeral herbs varying subtly according to soil type, depth and salinity.

More about the mallee:

  • Low, unreliable rainfall, high summer temperatures and poor fertility of the sandy soils are a key characteristic – leading some parts to be called ‘deserts’
  • Surprisingly diverse flora and fauna including many species of reptiles
  • Small nocturnal ground-dwelling mammals use burrows for breeding and protection
  • Has a distinctive range of birds including the Mallee Fowl which constructs huge mounds of sand and litter to incubate its eggs
  • Parrots are prominent, including the colourful Mallee Ringneck, Major Mitchell Cockatoo and Regent parrot.

Key Threats

  • Grazing by exotic animals (e.g. rabbits, goats)
  • Predation by foxes
  • Weed invasion
  • Increased temperatures and decreased rainfall are potential threats to species that already ‘live on the edge’
  • A potential increase in the frequency of large, intense fire events is also a threat to species that require ‘old-growth’ habitat.

Where to see the mallee

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Have your say on Devilbend watercraft access

20 Feb 2017

Parks Victoria is inviting the community to comment on plans to introduce non-powered recreational boating, including canoes and kayaks, in a section of Devilbend Natural Features Reserve. Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is recognised internationally for its importance in the conservation of bird populations. Over 44 species of birds call Devilbend…

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Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2017

14 Jan 2017 - 17 Apr 2017

The Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2017 presents a series of 4 exhibitions, by: Association of Sculptors of Victoria Basketmakers of Victoria Contemporary Art Society of Victoria A4 Art Australia The Gallery on Herring Island will be open every weekend from 14 January through 17 April, including Australia Day holiday…

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Wilsons Promontory Labour Day Weekend Discovery Program

11 Mar 2017 - 12 Mar 2017

Parks Victoria’s Discovery program encourages children and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Programs include a range of interactive and fun activities. Highlights of the Labour Discovery Program at the Prom include opportunities to: Join Marco Festa-Bianchet from the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec and University of Melbourne on…

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Multicultural Children's Picnic

22 Mar 2017 10:30am-1:00pm

The Children's Multicultural Picnic will be a celebration of different cultures and the enrichment this brings to children and family lives. A range of activities will be on offer with opportunities for families to participate and promote activities from their own culture and learn about other cultures. Held at Brimbank…