Very few ecosystems around the world are as threatened as grasslands. In Victoria, grassland communities across the lowlands are critically endangered, including the Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains (VVP), due to historic and current land use practices. ARI has a long history of supporting conservation programs in critically endangered grassy ecosystems. Since 2001, ARI ecologists have worked with Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), DELWP, Trust for Nature and landholders to investigate the best ways to manage native grasslands on farms. Through monitoring, modelling and engagement programs, ARI’s research aims to improve grassland management and quality for future generations.

Currently, ARI contributes to VVP grassland conservation on private land through the following projects:

The VVP Grassland Monitoring Program (2018-2023).

This program informs grassland management on private land in the Glenelg Hopkins CMA region, and engages with landowners and other stakeholders about the importance of grassland conservation. This program uses field monitoring and statistical modelling to detect changes in grassland quality associated with management practices such as livestock grazing, burning and weed control.

The VVP Grassland Modelling Project (2020-2021).

This project developed customised models to identify ecologically valuable grasslands in the private estate for conservation investment. To do this, ARI researchers modelled the current extent and main grass species composition of native temperate grasslands within the Glenelg Hopkins

Yellow flower

Person kneeling and looking at grass

Purple flower

CMA region. The models combined both satellite imagery and field data from a variety of monitoring programs, with expert knowledge about ecological patterns in the landscape. This research is guiding priority investment to protect grasslands on farms.

Both projects are part of The Victorian Volcanic Plains Recovery Project which is supported by the Glenelg-Hopkins CMA, through funding via The Federal Government's National Landcare Program: Phase 2.

For more information on protecting the VVP grasslands, see the Melbourne Strategic Assessment Program webpage.

For more information on ARI's involvement grasslands on the private estate contact:

The following journal articles are available:

Page last updated: 17/06/22