Bushcare


 

By: Michael Fox

 

Members of the Australian Chinese Youth Association (ACYA) joined me yesterday to restore Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. A diverse group with students from China, Japan and Australia, all passionate about working with China.

The team were also all interested in everything I showed them, like the Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula growing, not in cool shady gullies but on dry rocky Mt Gravatt.

Proud Bushcare team - 23 March 2019

Weed Busters at work removing Fishbone Fern

 

Casey asked what we do in the forest so I showed the National Tree Day plantings and explained our work educating and engaging community members with grant funding for interpretive signs and maps of walking tracks.

I put the team to work removing invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia. A native species indigenous to north Queensland it is an environmental weed in Brisbane spreading from garden waste dumped in bushland and smothering local natives.

Bark Cockroach - Laxta sp. - 23 March 2019

Bark Cockroach

 

 

Remember I said the team were interested in everything?

We have never found so many different species at one time. Casey found one of our bush cockroaches: Bark Cockroaches Laxta sp. live in the leaf litter preforming valuable recycling work.

 

Black Woodland Cockroach - Platyzosteria melanaria - 23 March 2019

Black Woodland Cockroach

 

 

A Black Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria melanaria is a new addition to our Flora and Fauna species list.

 

 

 

Brisbane brush-footed trapdoor - Seqocrypta jakara - 23 March 2019

Brisbane Brush-footed Trapdoor Spider

 

Brisbane Brush-footed Trapdoor Spider  Seqocrypta jakara is another new species identified.

 

 

 

Net-casting Spider - Deinopis sp. - young - 23 March 2019

Net-casting Spider

 

 

 

 

 

A newly hatched Net-casting Spider Deinopis sp.

Brown Huntsman - Heteropoda sp. - 23 March 2019

Brown Huntsman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think Wentao (right) set a new record for finding wildlife including a Brown Huntsman Heteropoda sp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weeding disturbed a  Sugar Ant Camponotus sp. The ants immediately got busy relocating their larvae and when I checked today the site was completely clear.

 

 

 

Fungi - 23 March 2019

 

 

 

 

Cute fungi were also found.

 

 

Tiny mushroom fungi - 23 March 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny mushroom fungi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight plus bags of weeds - 23 March 2019

Proud Weed Busters

 

 

Eight and quarter bags of weeds removed and ready to go to Green Waste at the dump. We compost most weeds onsite however the roots and nodules of Fishbone need to be removed from site or they regrow.

Thank you to the ACYA team. Looking forward to welcoming you back in two weeks.

By: Michael Fox

A friend asked me today about Sunday’s CleanUp. We were driving up the Mountain when I explained we only collected ten bags of rubbish. Bec asked if we had less volunteers. I was proud to be able to explain that there is just less rubbish to pick-up because Council now locks the road access gate at night and despite a dramatic increase in the number of walkers and visitors to The Love Well Project (cafe at Summit) there is less rubbish. I believe people are valuing Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve as a special place to be cared for like a National Park.

As I started to write this post I looked back at past CleanUp’s for comparison:

As Heather noted there was very little recycling because, thanks to the Queensland Container Refund Scheme, there were few drink cans and bottles to pick up.

A strong Council / community partnership is really making a difference to this unique parcel of Australian bush just 10km from the CBD.

Heather Woods and the Bush Monsters were here again to organise our annual CleanUp.

Heather’s Bush Monsters were representing Guides (Eloise) and Scouts (Lincoln) this year.

 

 

Lydia Lichen Moth - Asura lydia - 3 March 2019

Lydia Lichen Moth

 

Lincoln and Eloise are regular helpers with our Mountain restoration work and they are budding Citizen Scientists even making friends with a Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia

Note the distinctive comb-like antennae. This feathery structure, made up of fine hairs is a moth equivalent our nose. The hairs are smell receptors that detect molecules arriving from miles away.

You can also see the moth’s proboscis unrolled searching for moisture on Eloise’s glove.

Ross Vasta team - 3 March 2019

Vasta Team

 

 

It is always great to welcome our political representatives to community events.

The Ross Vasta team (LNP) worked on the Summit CleanUp.

 

Jo Briskey team - 3 March 2019

Briskey Team

 

 

 

 

The Jo Briskey team (Labour) including our local state member Corrine McMillan started at Gertrude Petty Place and worked up the road.

 

 

 

 

 

       Thank you to Heather, the Bush Monsters and all the other community members who care about our mountain Reserve. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

 

I inspected the National Tree Day planting site today and as always I am impressed how local natives can thrive even in the dry weather we have been having. Rain this week will be a real boost however even before the rain most of the plants our community team put in have been thriving. Brisbane Fringed Wattle - Acacia fimbriata - 5 Feb 2019 lowres

Seven months on the Brisbane Fringed Wattles  Acacia fimbriata are outgrowing the green plant shelters, Blady Grass Imperata cylindrica and Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra are standing tall, and Dusky Coral Pea Kennedia rubicunda is draped over the Habitat Tripod.

Native Hibiscus - Hibiscus heterophyllus - 5 Feb 2019 lowres

 

 

 

Native Hibiscus/Rosella Hibiscus heterophyllus are thriving and already feeding local insects which is the first step in attracting insect eating birds like Variegated Fairy Wrens Malurus lamberti. Native Hibiscus not only feeds insects it is also a versatile bush food for your Pollinator Link garden.

By: Michael Fox

Sue Jones has, for years, been an inspiration for a wide range of Mt Gravatt community members from Meals on Wheels to Mansfield Melody Makers. My contact with Sue started about 10 years ago when she introduced me to the Habitat Brisbane Bushcare programme and mentored me as I established Fox Gully Bushcare.

S Star War of Trees 2 30 Jun 10Sue has been defending the special habitat of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve for years. However, she has decided that is time to hand leadership of Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare over to the next generation.

Sheamus O’Connor who takes over from Sue in July is a great example of the next generation of community leaders.

Sue’s Legacy

Holland Park Kindy Mt Gravatt 9 July 12 001

Checking out a native bee nest

Sue particularly loves introducing kids to the wonders of the environment and particularly our special piece of Australian bush right in Mt Gravatt. Holland Park Kindergarten Bush Adventure at Gertrude Petty Place.

 

 

 

DSC00530

Susan showing cut sapling

 

Bushcare requires a long term focus. Restoration of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve is repairing damage done by logging over 100 years ago before visionary Mt Gravatt community members who lobbied for creation of the Reserve. Sue builds on that tradition engaging diverse community members in the restoration: Griffith Students Deliver Results.

I have had the honour of partnering with warrior Sue to successfully tackle the ongoing problem of illegal mountain bike riding damaging plants and causing erosion. Threats: Downhill Mountain Biking, Trail Bikes & Unofficial Tracks

 

Sheamus building the Future

Nat Tree Day Planting Group Photo 2011 010

Mt Gravatt SHS Team

Sheamus also believes in community action to build our future and has been contributing to restoration of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve starting when he was still attending Mt Gravatt State High School. Mt Gravatt SHS students planting their future

 

 

DSCN0089

Sheamus Water Warrior

 

Sheamus has already been identified as an environmental warrior.  Graduated from Griffith University Sheamus is now sharing his passion for the environment and science, teaching the next generation at Whites Hill State College.

 

Volunteer to help Sheamus build our future

The Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare team meets monthly on the last Saturday of the month 8am to 10am.

Grab a friend and join other generous and passionate community members working with Sheamus to build a strong Bushcare team.

More details see our Bushcare Calendar.

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Join CleanUp Australia – Mt Gravatt Summit

koala - outlook - 5 jan 2019

CleanUp and restoration work is making an impact with wildlife like this Koala photographed at Summit carpark in January.

Date: Sunday March 3rd 2019

Start time: 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM

Meet at: Mt Gravatt Summit carpark – near Love Well Project

Please join our Clean Up teams picking up rubbish or removing Creeping Lantana

koala - fox gully - jason tash - 15 dec 2018

It’s tough being a mum at Christmas.

By: Michael Fox

Thanks to our Koala spotters I have more photos of our cute neighbours to share.

Jason and Tash are always happy when they have Koalas visiting their Fox Gully property.

So they were very pleased when this poor long suffering mum and her joey posed for their American visitors.

 

koalas - firefly gully - 29 dec 2019 - three in one

Three for one in Firefly Gully

 

 

 

 

Toni was really proud when she photographed  three Koalas in one tree in Firefly Gully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

koala - outlook - 5 jan 2019

 

 

Thanks to Michelle for this photo of a Koala posing for visitors at Mt Gravatt Lookout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

koala - outlook drive2 - 5 jan 2019

 

 

On the way back down the mountain Michaelle spotted another Koala.

Not a bad start to 2019.

 

Dogs are allowed in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve but please keep them on a leash as Koalas are currently breeding.

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Koala - walking - 4 Dec 11 - J McCrystal

Koala Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive

Koala breeding season is here again: August to February. So it is very important that dogs visiting Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve are kept on a leash at all times. Dog owners regularly tell us that “their dogs wouldn’t attack koalas because they’re well trained and don’t cause problems.” However, the RSPCA rescue volunteer releasing a young male Koala at Gertrude Petty Place yesterday told Sue Jones different story “dogs are more often than not implicated in Koala rescues.”

Koala Family - Alan Moore - 29 Sept 2018 lr

Koala Family (l-r) father, joey (male), mother

Alan Moore photographed this family group last Saturday in Fox Gully Bushcare behind houses in O’Grady Street.

 

Toni McDonald photographed another Koala last Wednesday in Firefly Gully off Mt Gravatt Road.

We now have a healthy Koala population in the Reserve and people often ask how many Koalas there are. Until now, other than telling them that we have two or three joeys each year I don’t have any detailed numbers to share. The joint Queensland University of Technology-Brisbane City Council research using heat-seeking drones should provide valuable population information.

 

 

 

 

 

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