Butterflies in a Disappearing Ecosystem: Alpine Satyrinae

  • Tim R. New


Australia’s alpine and subalpine zones are small, confined to the southeast of the continent and, by European or other standards, not particularly high: the highest peak (Mt Kosciuszko) reaches only 2,228 m high, and much of the so-called ‘snow country’ lies well below this. The latter term was adopted as a descriptor by Green and Osborne (1994), because a consistently defined snow-line may be absent, particularly in Tasmania. Nevertheless, somewhat over 10,000 km2 of southeastern Australia receives heavy and usually persistent snow every year, and the region commonly termed the Australian Alps largely comprises rolling plateaux in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The term refers most commonly to these mainland areas, but Tasmania also has substantial, but generally lower elevation snow-covered areas. The mainland areas, in particular, are major foci of winter recreation and substantial resorts, with good accommodation and access roads, have been developed on or near many of the major peaks. The scenic attraction of the mountain areas also increasingly encourages summer tourists. Mainland areas are largely linked by a series of national parks and reserves and collectively cover an area of about 135 km2, with the largest single area (the Snowy Mountains) about two thirds of this.


Private Land Subalpine Zone Mainland Area Snowy Mountain Occupied Habitat 
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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyLa Trobe UniversityVictoriaAustralia

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