Bushwalks


By: Michael Fox

Clairvaux Bushcarers - 14 May 2018

Clairvaux Bushcarers

Our new partnership with Clairvaux MacKillop College is off to a great start. Clairvaux Bushcarers joined us last Monday to help prepare the 2018 National Tree Day site.

The team worked so hard removing weeds and moving branches to make the site safe, our Tuesday Bushcare group was able to finalise the preparation ready for spreading mulch.

 

Proud Weed Busters - 14 May 2018

Proud Weed Busters

It was a real pleasure to work with the students, a bit like herding cats, but still a real pleasure.

Over fifty years ago Frederick Herzberg identified recognition and a sense of achievement as two key factors in helping individuals build their motivation. Watching the students’ level of engagement and energy grow as they worked was an excellent example of Hertzberg’s research in action.

Variable Ladybird Beetles - Coelophora inaequalis - 14 May 2018

Variable Ladybird Beetle

Removing huge clumps of Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus really does provide a great sense of achievement and by removing and bagging the seed heads dramatically reduces weed regrowth.

The Clairvaux Bushcarers also had a wonderful time finding “bugs” for me to photograph. Like this Variable Ladybird Beetle Coelophora inaequalis.

26-spotted Potato Ladybird - Epilachna vigintisexpunctata - 14 May 2018

26-spotted Potato Ladybird

 

The students also found  26-spotted Potato Ladybird Epilachna vigintisexpunctata which is a new addition to our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

 

Variable Ladybird Beetles - Coelophora inaequalis - larve - 14 May 2018

Variable Ladybird Beetle larvae

 

 

I was also able to introduce the students to the strange looking Ladybird Beetle larvae.

 

Variable Ladybird Beetle Coelophora inaequalis larvae.

Common Spotted Ladybird - Harmonia conformis - larva - 14 May 2018

Common Spotted Ladybird Beetle

 

 

 

Common Spotted Ladybird Beetle Harmonia conformis larvae.

 

Common Assassin Bug - Pristhesancus plagipennis - 5th Instar - 14 May 2018

Common Assassin Bug 5th Instar

 

 

 

 

 

Common Assassin Bug Pristhesancus plagipennis 5th Instar. As the name suggests Assassin Bugs are pest controllers for your garden feeding on spiders and other insects.

Common Methana - Methana marginalis - large nymph - native cocoroach - 14 May 2018

Common Methana

 

 

 

 

Common Methana Methana marginalis large nymph. A native cockroach, the Common Methana are great recyclers turning leaves into soil and food for lizards and birds.

Bark Cockroach - Laxta sp. - 14 May 2018

Bark Cockroach

 

 

 

 

 

Bark Cockroach Laxta sp. are another curious native cockroach working hard to recycle leaf litter.

 

 

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly - Simosyrphus grandicornis - 14 May 2018

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly

 

 

 

 

Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly Simosyrphus grandicornis 

 

 

Clairvaux Bushwalkers - Weed Busting - 10 May 2018

Creeping Lantana

 

 

 

 

The Clairvaux Bushwalkers helped the previous week, removing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses* (the asterisk * is used to identify non-native species).

 

Small Dusky Blue - Candalides erinus - topside - 10 May 2018

Small Dusky Blue butterfly feeding

 

 

 

 

 

Small Dusky Blue Candalides erinus butterfly feeding on nectar from the flower of a Purple Fleabane Cyanthillium cinereum. Look for the proboscis: a hollow drinking straw the butterfly unrolls. Natives like the Purple Fleabane are returning as Creeping Lantana is removed.

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday we hosted the Clairvaux Scientists who checked water quality in Mimosa Creek.

 

 

 

Checking acidy - 18 May 2018

Acid Test

 

 

The water sample was then tested with litmus paper which established a healthy neutral water.

 

 

Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly - Orthetrum villosovittatum - 18 May 2018

Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly

 

 

We also spotted a new dragonfly species to add to the species list. Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly Orthetrum villosovittatum

 

Thank you to all the Clairvaux students and staff.

I am looking forward to growing a long partnership restoring Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and learning environmental skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By: Michael Fox

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(clockwise) Mik Petter, Wayne Cameron, Ian Walker, Dr. Christian Rowan, Michael Fox, Sienna Harris

Our local MP Ian Walker gave us to opportunity yesterday to brief Dr. Christian Rowan, state Shadow Minister for Environment, about our restoration work around the mountain and the broader Brisbane catchment. We met at the Love Well Project … excellent coffee and an outstanding place to meet with a view over Brisbane City.
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Mik Petter – B4C President and Wayne Cameron – Catchment Manager, represented Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C). Sienna Harris represented Griffith Mates and Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader, and I represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group.
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Mik and Wayne shared information on the history of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee Inc. (B4C): established in 1997 as a community based social enterprise that provides coordination, support and specialised ecological services to protect, restore and maintain Bulimba Creek catchment in partnership with our members and wider community to build a web of green across the region.

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Particularly significant points were the business like management of B4C which complements grant funding and volunteer contribution with commercial projects across Brisbane and as far as Esk. This combination of financial strength and depth of on ground experience across both technical environmental areas and community engagement allows B4C to provide valuable support for groups like ours: technical advice, legal framework, insurance and bookkeeping.

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Explaining the value of interpretative signs.

The excellent support our five Bushcare groups receive from BCC Habitat Brisbane is complemented by B4C’s support that allows us to source grant funding for printing our popular Walking Mt Gravatt track maps and the interpretative signs which help create a real “National Park” experience for visitors to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.
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Sienna talked about Griffith Mates, a Griffith University initiative that organises events for students, including Volunteering at Bushcare. A powerful partnership we find ourselves working with students studying engineering, international business as well as the expected environmental science. Listening to students talking about home in Hong Kong or Zimbabwe, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter.
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(l-r) Ian Walker and Christian Rowan

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Alan told us about the 2017 Photography Workshop, our fifth year helping visitors “See the forest in a new way” through the lens of their camera. Each year Alan focuses of a new theme and many participants return each year … so it is important to book early as we have limited numbers.
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Time to get the politicians out to experience this special Conservation Reserve in the middle of the city.
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I explained that the butterfly sign was positioned at the entry to the Summit Track where the natural amphitheatre creates a speed dating site for dozens of butterflies of different species.
acacia-leaf-beetle-dicranosterna-picea-26-oct-2016-cropped

Acacia Leaf Beetle

By: Michael Fox

 

I met a future naturalist at the Small Bird Habitat this morning. He was walking the mountain on his father’s shoulders but when I found an Acacia Leaf Beetle Dicranosterna picea on a Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata this future naturalist had to get down to get a close look. Of course a true naturalist loves to let beetles walk up their arm.

brown-belid-weevil-rhinotia-brunnea-26-oct-2016-cropped

Brown Belid Weevil

 

This was an inspiring meeting as this future scientist not only let the beetle walk on him, he then proceeded to find another two bugs for me on other plants.

One I have not identified yet but this other is a Brown Belid Weevil Rhinotia brunnea.

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Brown Belid Weevil – side view

 

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And both new species to add to our Flora and Fauna database! 

Not a bad start for this future naturalist who has not even started school.

 

By: Michael FoxGlider map

Thanks to the BCC Natural Environment team for reconstruction of the steep slippery section of Geebung Track near Azanian Street entry to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

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geebung-track-3-12-oct-2016

Geebung Track new entry

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The new track starts near the Glider interpretative sign and loops into the bush, missing large trees and uses steps to create a safer easier walk.

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Reconstructed Geebung Track

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Professionally made steps rejoin Greebung Track at top of steep section.

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Managing track erosion 

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The Natural Environment team have specialist contractors to do track restoration work. The existing track had already been restored right up to the small green water reservoir. That restoration work included large swales to direct water off the track reducing erosion. The contractors have set up the new section of track with rocks to handle the huge volume of rain water coming off the swales.

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus breeding season is August to February and we already have three sighting this month, so it is a good time to remind walkers to keep their dogs on leash within the Reserve. As this sighting report highlights:

Semple1 - 14 July 2016

Koala sighted – station marker 5

“Walking on the mountain yesterday around 10.30 proved exciting: two Koalas on the Summit Track. The first was sitting in a fork directly above the 5th guided walk sign-post. The second had actually climbed down from a tree, walked along the track before climbing back up a tree about four steps from the top of the flight up the western side of  the mountain on the Summit Track, where it promptly started feeding. Two in one day really proves we have at least two koalas on the mountain! We think the ones we saw were both young.

Semple2 - 14 July 2016

Koala sighted walking Summit Track

“As an aside; the woman who saw the Koala climb down and walk the track before climbing back up had a rather large dog, firmly on a lead. We congratulated her for having the dog under control. Poor Koala would not have stood a chance had the dog been free.” Alison

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BCC information on Dogs and Koalas: identifies that Koalas are under threat of extinction. Koalas are now listed as vulnerable in Queensland under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and also in the South East Queensland bio-region under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Queensland was once home to millions of Koalas. However, the BCC estimates that now there may be as few as 100,000 left in existence statewide. Koalas were still being hunted in Queensland in the 1920s, since that time habitat clearing and road trauma have been the have been the most significant threat with dog attacks number three.

“In 1927 in Queensland, the country’s final, but highly controversial month-long hunt known as Black August, more than 800,000 koalas were killed.” Rural Weekly

Koalas are now breeding in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve so we have a second chance to keep this unique and iconic species as part of our community.

“80 percent of koalas attacked by dogs die from their injuries” Moggill Koala Hospital – cited in BCC Dogs and Koalas

Koalas live here – dogs visit  Keep your dog on leash while walking in the Reserve and help us protect and grow the Koala population.

Your dog wants to play off-leash? Visit Abbeville Street Park.

Google Map - Koalas July 2016

Koala sightings since January 2016

 

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