Bushcare


Jisu - Elkhorn and Basket ferns 31 -Aug 2016 lowres

Jisu fascinated by Elkhorn and Basket Ferns growing on a rock

By: Michael Fox

I introduced Korean student Jisu to our wildlife and native plants in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve while walking to Mt Gravatt Campus.

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Kangaroo on a bus - 31 Aug 2016 lowres

I like my new mum

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Jisu is keen to meet a Koala but neither of us expected to meet a Kangaroo on the Griffith Inter-campus. This youngster was happily nestled into his substitute pouch on the wildlife carer’s lap.

Citizen Scientists checking nest boxes - 27 Aug 2016 low res

Citizen Scientists using iPads to check nest box

By: Michael Fox

On Saturday morning our Griffith Mates partners joined us at the National Tree Day planting site for some Citizen Science: doing an initial check on the nest boxes installed in July, to see if any boxes were occupied and meeting some of the local wildlife.

Carl checking Boobook Owl box - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Carl checking BooBook Owl box

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I led the team on an off track adventure to reach the nest boxes. While Carl operated the GoPro camera on the extendable pole the ground crew monitored on iPads using WiFi connection.

Carl became a real professional keeping the tall wobbly pole under control while he lifted the lid on each box and inserted the camera.

Lantana Busters - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Lantana Busters at work

Not surprisingly none of the boxes had been occupied in the short time since installation. However, it is valuable to get a information on how long it takes before boxes are adopted.

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Then is was back through the bush to the Lantana Busting site.

Scolopendrid centipede - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Scolopendrid centipede – tail to left

1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis were cleared and raked into swales on National Tree Day. Now we are doing the detail work of clearing the remaining roots to eradicate this invasive garden escapee.

There is an amazing about of wildlife among the leaf litter as well as in the trees. We disturbed a Scolopendrid centipede which I think Baoyi wanted to keep as a pet. Be careful handling centipedes as they may bite if disturbed or handled. The bite may cause severe pain and associated swelling.

Griffith Mates team - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Home made cakes a reward for hard work. (l-r) Sophie, Jocelyn, Harry, Baoyi, Carl, Amanda and Dana in front

Centipedes are predatory and will kill and consume a variety of other invertebrates such as spiders, molluscs, many insects, slaters and other centipedes. Prey is usually immobilised by venom injected through the fangs and then torn into pieces by the mandibles and the soft parts are eaten.

All that hard work deserves a reward. Thanks to Mt Gravatt Environment Group member Dana for the home made cakes.

By: Michael FoxMorning tea for team

Join Group Leader Liz and the team for the next working bee at Roly Chapman Bushcare site … lots of fun clearing weeds and morning tea.
Roly Chapman meet site

Location: Carson Lane behind Upper Mt Gravatt State School

Date: 11 September 2016

Time: 8:30 to 10:30am

Griffith Mates -  23 July 2016

Griffith Mates Partners

By: Michael Fox

Photos: Kate Flink

OWeek Semester 2 2016

It is always a pleasure to lead a guided walk with our Griffith Mates partners, sharing some of the surprising relationships between different plants and between plants and the animals that depend on them for food and shelter.

Many of the students who join the walk are international so it is a great opportunity to introduce these visitors to our unique bushland. Unfortunately no Koalas spotted this time.

Handout pic

 

Walking Acacia Way we discussed the importance of tree hollows for nesting and the curious Allocasuarina: male trees have russet (red-brown) flowers on tips of leaves and female trees have red ball flowers growing directly from the branches.
Pardalote sign

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Stopping at the interpretative sign I used the QR code to bring up the online video of a Striated Pardalotte Pardalotus striatus with its “chip-chip” call on my iPhone. As soon as the birds high in the trees head the call they started to respond with their own calls.

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Explaining use of Settlers Flax - 23 July 2016 cropped

Discussing Settlers Flax

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Settlers Flax Gymnostachys anceps has an interesting history of use by indigenous people and white settlers:

“Fibres were used to make fishing line. There are records of use as string by Europeans (to bind and carry pigs by the feet).” Save Our Waterways Now (SOWN)

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After visiting Fox Gully Bushcare site we spent time clearing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae - 27 May 2016 - T Ashworth

Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae

By: Michael Fox

The Mt Gravatt Walking Group spotted this handsome Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae along the Summit Track on Friday morning. Photo: Tony Ashworth

While I hear the Bookbook’s “boo-book” call regularly this is the first sighting reported so I was very excited when Tony and the group joined us at the small bird habitat planting.

I have updated the Birds files in our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve lists with Tony’s photos.

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Tree Water Spider - Dendrolycosa icadia - 18 Apr 2016

Tree Water Spider Dendrolycosa icadia

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The Tree Water Spider Dendrolycosa icadia with its curious funnel shaped web is a new addition to Spiders in Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

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Tree Water Spider - Dendrolycosa icadia - web side - 18 Apr 2016

Tree Water Spider web

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Mock-olive - Notelaea longifolia - Tree - 23 May 2016

Long-leaved Mock-olive Notelaea longifolia

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Long-leaved Mock-olive Notelaea longifolia is an addition to our Tree-Shrub species found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

By: Michael Fox

Creeping Lantana - Lantana montevidenses - 23 Apr 2016

Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses

Griffith Mates joined me at Fox Gully Bushcare on a beautiful fine Saturday morning to work as Lantana Busters. Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses is one of our major weed threats in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Lantana competes for native plants for scarce water reserves and the chemicals in Lantana have a significant negative effects on native plant species.

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Griffith Mates - Lantana Busters - 23 Apr 2013

(l-r) Sophie, Lifen, Noe – proud of their work

Removing Creeping Lantana is detailed work requiring team members to get down and pull the roots of individual plants. Fortunately the Griffith Mates team were patient and through leaving the area spotless.

As always, it was fascinating to talk to the students about home towns in Japan and China, catching up with one of my old Management Concepts students or hearing about intern experience with KPMG in Korea.

Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus - 23 Apr 2016

Koala high in tree on Federation Track

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Outstanding effort deserves a reward, so we headed off down the Federation Track to find a Koala Phascolarctos cinereus in the wild. The track down towards Granby Street is a reliable place to spot Koalas. Sophie was first to spot a Koala high in a Tallowwood Eucalyptus microcorys.

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Joseph’s Coat Moth Agarista agricola – Photo: K. Sinigaglia

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We also spotted a brightly coloured Joseph’ Coat Moth Agarista agricola flying around a large clump of Forest Grape Cissus opaca an important caterpillar food plant for this amazing moth.

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Brown Ringlet - Hypocysta metirius - 23 Apr 2016

Ringlet butterfly

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We also found a Ringlet butterfly Hypocysta sp. which depend on Poaceae (grass) species for caterpillar food.

The work of the Lantana Busters clearing the weeds will allow regeneration of important butterfly caterpillar food like Forest Grape and native grasses.

Every visit of our Griffith Mates partners strengthens the habitat for all our native species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by: Michael Fox

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Mulch filter

 

Sunday 10th April, a lovely sunny morning and new volunteers join the team for the second community working bee of the year.

First step, before it gets too hot, is working along the fence between the reserve and Upper Mt Gravatt SS oval. One group continued clearing weeds along the fence line while the other group starting moving the mulch delivered by BCC Habitat Brisbane last month, staking plants and installing a timber edge to contain mulch to create a break between the oval and the bush. The 20cm thick layer of mulch will act to slow the large volume of  water runoff from the large area of the school oval. This allows the water to soak in rather than just run off and also acts as a weed seed filter protecting the bush.

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Kate demonstrates cut and dab

Only partially complete this mulch filter is already working to stop weed regrowth and promote growth of the planted melaleucas (doubled in size) and the clumps of Common Rush Juncus usitatus

Kate Flink, our Habitat Brisbane Officer, also joined us for the morning. Besides helping to move heavy barrow loads of mulch she gave a demonstration on herbicide application using the cut and dab method.  This is an ideal way to deal with thickets of Easter Cassia Senna pendula var. glabrata and Small Leaved Privet Ligustrum sinense that have infested this area.

Morning tea for team

Hard work is rewarded with morning tea

At the end of a busy morning we were very grateful for our morning tea (especially the raspberry slice) prepared and brought to us by Trevor and Carol.  Thank you to all the volunteers and especially Kate for her help, encouragement and invaluable information.

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