The Alpine Peatlands (officially referred to as Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens) are a very important and scarce ecological system. There are only 4,480 hectares of alpine peatland, all found in high elevations of the Victorian Alps. The peatlands are permanently wet sites in high rainfall alpine, sub-alpine and montane areas of the state. It is the key vegetation community in areas like the Dargo High Plains, Wellington Plains (also referred to as Wonnangatta – Moroka), Mt Baw Baw plateau, Mt Howitt, Lake Mountain, Mt Buffalo, the Snowy Range and Mt Hotham and the Bogong High Plains. Though usually on the plains, it also occurs in gullies, depressions and cold air drainage areas. The community is listed as endangered under the national EPBC Act due to:
- its small geographic distribution coupled with demonstrable threats,
- the continued decline of functionally important species, and
- the severe reduction in community integrity across its range.
The alpine peatlands also have an important hydrological function as the headwaters of some of Victoria’s most significant river systems including the Murray and Snowy Rivers.
Project Objective: The long-term objective for this project is to ensure the total area of Alpine peatlands is maintained, and that those peatlands that are currently in good condition are kept that way, and any peatlands that are in medium or poor condition are returned to good condition by 2040.