The alps

The alps are characterised by granite and sandstone peaks with rounded mountain tops and plateaus. The highest mountain areas support a rich mosaic of heathland, grassland and alpine bog communities. At slightly lower altitudes these ‘treeless islands’ give way to subalpine woodlands comprising small, multi-stemmed, snow gums usually less than 10 metres tall.

 

More about the alps

  • A mere 0.5 per cent of Australia is truly ‘treeless’ alpine.
  • Climatic conditions are harsh
  • Typically covered in snow for more than a third of the year
  • Plants and animals have evolved to cope with environmental extremes – low temperatures, high winds, snow cover for long periods and seasonal inundation
  • Many species are found only in the alpine area including several species at risk of extinction, such as the Baw Baw Frog, Alpine Water Skink, Mountain Pygmy-possum and Stirling Stonefly.

 

Key Threats

 

Alpine-adapted species are vulnerable to:

  • Climate change impacts such as changes in snow cover, streamflows and frequency of large scale wildfire
  • Weed invasion
  • Grazing by exotic animals and predation by foxes.

 

Where to see the alps

X
By using our site you accept that we use and share cookies and similar technologies with certain approved third parties. These tools enable us to improve your website experience and to provide content and ads tailored to your interests. By continuing to use our site you consent to this. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.
Confirm