Mornington Peninsula’s Biodiversity

The Mornington Peninsula is a unique place when it comes to biodiversity – it is home to an incredible range of plants and animals, including species and areas of regional, state, national and international significance.

 This diversity is due to the range of natural environments we have here on the peninsula - our coast, creeks, hills and plains provide a variety of habitats for our local native plants and animals to live. To discover more about our biodiversity, take a look at the plants of the peninsula and wildlife of the peninsula pages. You can also learn how environmental weeds and feral animals threaten our biodiversity, and find out what the Shire is doing and what you can do to help protect our native plants and animals.

Discover our hidden gems

Experience this biodiversity for yourself by heading into our bushland reserves and enjoy some time in nature.

  • Follow the Bittern Coastal Wetland walk at Warringine Park in Hastings and you’ll be walking through an internationally significant Ramsar wetland where you’ll find one of the most southerly populations of mangroves in world. You might even see some migratory wader birds resting after their long flight from Japan, or a threatened Swamp Skink sunning itself near the track.
  • Challenge your fitness by doing the stairs circuit at Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve in Mt Eliza, and you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view across the Moorooduc Plains. Lift your eyes to the sky and you might even spot the resident Peregrine Falcon hunting overhead. If you visit in spring you’ll see an abundance of wildflowers growing amongst the Grassy Woodland – one of the most species-rich ecosystems in temperate Australia.
  • Tread the boardwalk at Balcombe Estuary Bushland Reserve in Mount Martha and discover thickets of Swamp Paperbark, which provide an ideal spot for the Eastern Yellow Robin to perch whilst it searches for its next insect to catch. 
  • Ride the Red Hill Rail Trail at Red Hill Bushland Reserve in Red Hill South to experience the tall eucalypt forests found throughout the peninsula’s hinterland. These tall forests are home to range of forest fauna including Australia’s largest owl, the Powerful Owl, with a wingspan of 1.4 m. This nocturnal predator relies on tree hollows to breed – though it takes 150 years before a tree forms a hollow large enough for a Powerful Owl. 
  • A stroll along Rye Ocean Beach in Mornington Peninsula National Park could reveal a Hooded Plover - a nationally threatened beach-nesting shorebird. The Mornington Peninsula provides one of the most important habitats for Hooded Plovers in Australia.
  • Hang out in your own backyard. Our urban areas are a great place to experience the peninsula’s biodiversity and provide habitat for Short-beaked Echidnas, Blue-tongued Lizards, Tawny Frogmouths and Koalas.