Grasslands once covered much of the Victorian Volcanic Plains, that stretch from Melbourne to the South Australian border. A mix of grasses and wildflowers, they were habitat for many native species such as the Plains Wanderer, the Eastern Barred Banidcoot, Bettong and Striped Legless Lizard. The grains, tubers and yam daisies were important food sources for the Wadawurrung, Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung peoples, who also managed the land in a complex and sustainable way.
With colonisation, sheep and cows were introduced into the landscape. Not only did they eat much of the grasses, destroying habitat, but their hooves compacted the soil. Aboriginal people were displaced and forced to leave their homelands.
Today, the area has been classified an urban growth corridor. The sprawl is putting more pressure on the landscape. At present there are less that 2% of grasslands remaining.
The proposed Western Grasslands Reserve, aims to establish at least 15,000 hectares of reserve to protect remnant grasslands and associated species.
Planting indigenous grasses, wild flowers, shrubs and trees in your own gardens also helps to create habitat for our local species.
Listen to the soundscape above, created by our Sustainability Project Officer, Jess Fairfax as she takes you on a journey through the evolution of grasslands and what we can do in our own backyards to help our a little.