Giant Gippsland Earthworm
Did The Earth Move For You Too?
If you are out wandering along the creeks and slopes of South
and West Gippsland, don’t be startled if you hear a loud,
gurgling sound like this beneath your feet:
be part of this exciting new project.
Site content written by Dr. Beverley Van Praagh (BSc. PhD.) who
has been studying the Giant Gippsland Earthworm for the past
Farmers As Custodians
It’s not just national parks and nature reserves that are
important for protecting our threatened plants and animals;
farmland also plays a role in biodiversity conservation. This is
imperative for threatened species such as the Giant
Gippsland Earthworm, where the farmers of South and West
Gippsland are the custodians of the majority of its habitat.
Working together and managing farms in ways that protect
GGE habitat will help ensure that GGEs continue to survive
Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response
Planning Project (BRP)
In 2018, a partnership project between DELWP Gippsland,
Federation University, Gippsland Water, Latrobe
Catchment Landcare Network, and South Gippsland
Landcare Network was awarded a Grant under the State
Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning Project
(BRP) to promote the conservation of four species of
threatened invertebrates found in the western end of the
Strzelecki Ranges. It builds on an earlier Federal Government
project “Building Capability To Manage GGE Habitat On
The project has two aims:
investigate the potential of eDNA to assist in identifying
different species of burrowing crayfish in the field; and
work with landowners to ensure that habitats of Giant
Gippsland Earthworm and burrowing crayfish are
protected on rural properties. This involves undertaking
appropriate revegetation and providing support for on-
ground works such as deer control and fencing where
Click any image to enlarge
All photographs © Dr. Beverley Van Praagh, Invert-Eco unless otherwise stated.
No image may be saved, copied, reproduced or distributed without prior
permission from the copyright owner.
Please click play below to listen
This is the sound of a giant worm squelching its way in the
darkness along its wet burrow. Although Australia has over
1000 species of native earthworms, Gippsland is home to
possibly the largest and undoubtedly the most famous of all
earthworms - the Giant Gippsland Earthworm.
Giant Gippsland Earthworms are a
protected species in Victoria.
They are very fragile animals and
digging up these worms to view them
or handling them incorrectly is likely to
result in their death.
We do not encourage any digging up or
handling of these worms unnecessarily.
The best way to conserve these worms
is to protect their habitat and leave
them in their underground homes.
This gigantic earthworm has had an audience with a King,
featured in festivals, (Moomba, Karmai and a variety show) and
stared alongside Sir David Attenborough in the BBC’s 2005 tv
series Life in the Undergrowth. Despite all this attention,
many of its habits and behaviours remain secret, hidden
beneath the clay pastures of Gippsland.