Originally used for farming and other purposes, it was purchased in 1959 by the state government of Victoria for wildlife research and the captive management and breeding of species threatened in Victoria, such as the brolga, magpie goose, Australian bustard, and bush stone-curlew. The sanctuary contains many different types of wetland and is home to many plant species as well, such as river red gums, tall spikerush, and tussock grass. Serendip now focuses more on environmental education about the flora and fauna of the wetlands and open grassy woodlands of the volcanic Western Plains of Victoria. It was opened to the public in 1991 and is now managed by Parks Victoria.
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