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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

Greg Shelton Click to view the news RSS feed.

NAIDOC week: ranger Greg Shelton talks Country

17 Jul 2017

2-9 July is NAIDOC Week, when Australia celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.The stunning south west of Victoria is a great place to experience rich Aboriginal Cultural History throughout the World Heritage listed Budj Bim region, home to the Gundtjmara people for many…

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National Tree Day

30 Jul 2017 10:00am-2:30pm

To celebrate National Tree Day, help Friends of the Prom plant trees at Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory National Park. There will be a barbecue lunch provided.

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Koala Conservation Day

6 Aug 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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Koala Conservation Day

20 Aug 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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Peak Adventure Winter Series Race 3

27 Aug 2017 7:30am-12:30pm

Peak Adventure is excited to bring you PAWS, the Peak Adventure Winter Series at Lysterfield Park. Keep motivated, fit and healthy this winter by joining us for either an off-road triathlon, or an off-road duathlon. The triathlon includes a 7km paddle, a 20km MTB, and an 8km trail run. The…