Why native grasslands are important to building back biodiversity



Grassy woodlands were once widespread across the plains of Victoria. They were a hub of resources for local Aboriginal communities and provided homes to many native species. Because of their diversity of plants and animals, a small area of grasslands could be home to more than 100 different species, including moss, wildflowers, and fungi.

Unfortunately, they’re disappearing at an alarming rate across the whole country. When European settlers first arrived, these areas were seen as easy to clear for farming. Fast forward a couple hundred years, and now the grasslands that remain are under increasing pressure from urban expansion and development.

In Victoria, there’s less than one percent of the original grasslands left today. These finite remaining areas need all the protection they can get – which is where CVA comes in. 

On the outskirts of Melbourne is the Woodlands Historic Park, which is a biodiversity reserve of our unique grasslands. 

Travis Scicchitano, one of CVA’s Threatened Species Project Officer, helps manage the bandicoot sanctuary in Woodlands Historic Park, along with CVA’s partners like Parks Victoria. 

He says though they have cute critters like the Eastern Barred Bandicoot living there, thriving grassland is the crucial factor needed to ensure the species who call such environments home can benefit. 

“If I can’t provide good-quality habitat, then I can’t provide the food that goes with the plants that the bandicoots eat and nest in,” he says. 

“We need to create that whole circle of life. Basically – no plants, no animals.” 



In recent years, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has had their status reclassified from ‘extinct in the wild’ to ‘endangered.’  

Trav says it was a ‘magical’ feeling when he and all the involved partners, volunteers, and organisations heard the news. But he says the key to their success was simple. It only took a few committed steps daily to create the kind of environment and circumstances necessary to help the bandicoots make that transition. 

When you add those little steps all together, they become quite large. And that’s what we want people to learn about, get involved with, and be positive about.” 

He says every “little action you take” like adding a few plants to your backyard or balcony, can make a difference 

Little steps, big goals, but we got there eventually.” 




With more than 370 threatened animal species living in Australian cities and many under pressure from habitat loss, there’s a way Australians can protect and restore the homes of their local wildlife while reconnecting with nature and taking care of their own wellbeing. 

We want to help restore and grow precious environments, such as native grassy woodlands, by empowering communities to build their own Nature Blocks.  

These batches of native biodiversity are filled with the native plants and grasses you would find in grasslands like Woodlands Historic Park. These can create homes for local wildlife and help build back our biodiversity. 

And it’s simple! Download our CVA Community Hub app to discover step-by-step guides on how you can create your own Nature Block where you live. 

Be part of the change and help us BUILD BACK NATURE.