GPP storm damage - 5 Feb 13

Storm damage Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare

By: Michael Fox

Over the last two days I have walked the tracks in the Reserve to see what damage was done by last week’s storm. Being a mountain flooding is not a problem however we have lost a significant number of large eucalypts, a number of Casuarinas and a significant number of dead old trees (stags) which are often important habitat because of their nest hollows. A number tracks are blocked by fallen trees which will take time to clear as the Council teams prioritise clean up work.

Mountain Bike tracks

Storm block illegal mountain bike tracks

However, the storm has created some unexpected benefits for the habitat as fallen trees have blocked tracks used by illegal downhill mountain bike riders. We have had a number of reports that mountain bike riders have been seen in the Reserve so I also walked the areas that have been damaged illegal riding. I found some evidence of bike riding including clearing of logs placed by Council contractors to block tracks and minimise further erosion. So I was pleased to find a number of tracks blocked by large branches broken in the storm.

Red-browed Finch - 4 Feb 2013

Red-browed Finch – click to enlarge

I am also heartened by seeing wildlife thriving in the post storm environment.

I found Red-browed Finchs on Acacia Way …

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Dragonfly - 5 Jan 13

Dragonfly – Blue-spotted Hawker – beside Summit Track

… and a previously unrecorded dragonfly – Blue-spotted Hawker Adversaeschna brevistyla on the Summit Track. Thanks to Graham McDonald for the id. You can see more info on this and other dragonflies at Brisbane Insects.

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Shepherd’s Crook Orchid

I also found the Shepherd’s Crook Orchid flowering again at the Fox Gully Bushcare site. This is particularly important as this beautiful native orchid has been returned to the Reserve as a result of restoration work undertaken at the Fox Gully site.

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