Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


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Clairvaux Bushcare Team in action

By: Michael Fox

I was very happy to welcome our Clairvaux Bushcare Team back to declare war on Guinea Grass regrowth. The team first removed the seed heads before removing and piling the grass in swales to compost and reduce water runoff.

Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus is a fast growing environmental that crowds out local native species and creates a significant bushfire risk. Originally from Africa Guinea Grass has been bought to Australia as a pasture grass and has local herbivore species to control its growth so dead grass accumulates as a loose fast burning fuel for bushfire.

Fruit Piercing Moth - Eudocima fullonia - caterpillar 1- 20 May 2019

Fruit Piercing Moth caterpillar

The team found a number of “bugs” including a new moth species to add to our Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. The Fruit Piercing Moth Eudocima fullonia is curious creature. The caterpillars feed on local Tape Vine Stephania japonica while the adult moths feed by piercing a wide variety of fruit species, often causing the fruit to rot.

Purplewinged Mantid - Tenodera australasiae - 20 May 2019

Purplewinged Mantid

 

The students were not fazed by anything including finding this Purplewinged Mantid Tenodera australasiae climbing over his shirt.

 

 

 

Golden Orb-Weaver - Nephila plumipes - 20 May 2019

Golden Orb Weaver spider

 

 

Or this beautiful Golden Orb Weaver Nephila plumipes spider or the tiger hiding in the long grass.

 

 

 

 

Black Woodland Cockroach - Platyzosteria melanaria - 20 May 2019

Black Woodland Cockroach

 

 

Or even this Black Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria melanaria 

Australian native cockroaches do not invade our houses or spread disease preferring to stay in the bush feeding in trees on pollen, bark and leaf material. Some species in the genus Panesthia have adapted to eating decomposing wood, and have similar micro-organisms in their gut as those found in termites (Order Isoptera).

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What an amazing team of Bushcarers!

A huge area of Guinea Grass regrowth de-seeded and piled for composting on-site. Eradication will take another couple of years as we break the cycle of seeds.

The support of extraordinary and generous partners like the Clairvaux Bushcare Team allow us to restore large areas of our Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve habitat.

 

By: Michael Fox

 

The 2018 National Tree Day planting site is thriving and the locals are turning up for dinner. Plant Local to Feed Locals

The Crow or Donovan’s Day Moth Cruria donowani is a new addition our database of Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

I identified the species using: New larval food plant associations for some butterflies and diurnal moths (Lepidoptera) from the Northern Territory and Kimberley, Australia. Part II (2015) Michael F. Braby

Imperial Hairstreak - Jalmenus evagoras - female laying eggs on Acacia fimbriata - 21 April 2019

Imperial Hairstreak female laying eggs

 

 

I also found a female Imperial Hairstreak butterfly Jalmenus evagoras laying her eggs on one of the Brisbane Fringed Wattles Acacia fimbriata planted in July.

 

 

Imperial Hairstreak - Jalmenus evagoras -chryslis - 21 April 2019

Imperial Hairstreak chrysalis

 

 

 

 

Imperial Hairstreak chrysalis being protected by protected by “Kropotkin” ants – Small Meat Ant Iridomyrmex sp.

 

 

 

 

Joseph Coat Moth - Agarista agricola - Clematicissus opaca - 21 April 2019

Joseph’s Coat Moth caterpillar

 

 

 

 

The striking Joseph’s Coat Moth caterpillars Agarista agricola were lunching on Forest Grape Clematicissus opaca.

 

Restoration Team - 6 April 2019

ACYA Team at work

By: Michael Fox

I welcomed the hardworking ACYA team back today to continue restoration in our Fox Gully Bushcare site. I love working with these students because they are so happy and full of life.

 

 

Green Jumping Spider - Mopsus mormon - 6 April 2019

Green Jumping Spider Mopsus mormon

 

 

The team continued to find lots of wildlife including a moth caterpillar I still need an id and spiders including this Green Jumping Spider Mopsus mormon.

 

Basket Fern - Drynaria rigidula - regrowth - 6 April 2019

Basket Fern new growth

 

 

 

 

Pulling out bags of weeds is not the most exciting of our Bushcare work but today I was able to show the team the effectiveness of their work. Native ferns like this Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula are already returning in the areas cleared of weeds.

 

Rasp Fern - Doodia media - 6 April 2019

Rasp Fern returning

 

 

Rasp Fern Doodia media with its attractive pink new growth is an excellent replacement for weed Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia in your garden. Also grows well in pots and hanging baskets.

Want to buy Rasp Fern or other local native visit a Community Nursery.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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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

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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

 

 

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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

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