Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


By: Michael Fox

Yesterday Laurie Deacon, my Co-president and I were honoured to welcome our state Environment Minster Hon. Leeanne Enoch to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Minister Enoch was accompanied by our local MPs Corinne McMillan and Joe Kelly. We were also joined by Wayne Cameron, Bulimba Creek Catchment Co-ordinating Committee (B4C), Rob Janson and Greg Neill representing N4C and Coorparoo Finger Gullies Bushcare, and Greg Wellard, Mackenzie Bushcare.

Butterfly Hill-topping Site
Koala inspecting visitors

First stop on our tour is the butterfly speed dating site: look for the butterfly sign near the Summit Track entry. Some butterfly species practice “hilltopping behaviour” where males gather on in locations like the amphitheatre like space with the protection of trees along the edge for safety, all with the objective of attracting a female.

Our visitors were particularly interested in the Koala Phascolarctos cinereus population in the Reserve. One of our Koala Drinker team, Jake Slinger, spotted a Koala watching from the trees right where we were standing.

(l-r) Greg Wellard, Rob Janson, Greg Neill, Leeanne Enoch, Wayne Cameron, Corinne McMillan, Joe Kelly, Greg Neill, Laurie Deacon, Michael Fox

Our visitors were very impressed with restoration at the 2017 National Tree Day planting site.

I particularly complemented our political representatives on the impact of the Containers for Change initiative which has caused a very positive problem. When I look back at past CleanUp’s for comparison:

The reduction in rubbish meant our 2020 CleanUp not only had our largest team of volunteers but also our largest Weeding Team. A very positive problem!

Griffith Mates at work - 1 Mar 2020

Weeding Team in action

By: Michael Fox

I love our annual Clean Up when the community turns out to help maintain our special Reserve. Heather Woods, our event coordinator, registered our largest ever team:
  • 75 Volunteers;
  • 66 Adults; and
  • 9 Children (under 16)

Dainty Swallowtail - Papilio anactus - 1 Mar 2020

Dainty Swallowtail Papilio anactus

 

The reduction in rubbish to be cleaned up means the largest group joined the Weeding Team this year.

We are working with the Council Rangers and Habitat Brisbane team to prepare the site for the 2020 National Tree Day Planting on Sunday, 02 August. Special focus will be planting species that enhance the visitor experience by attracting butterflies, like the beautiful Dainty Swallowtail Papilio anactus, while maintaining the views to the city and Glass House Mountains.

Weeds cleared - 1 Mar 2020

Huge area of Guinea Grass and Creeping Lantana cleared

 

The weeding team did a great job clearing a huge area of Guinea Grass Panicum maximum, Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis and Glycine Neonotonia wightii. Clearing the weeds and removing trip hazards is the first step in site preparation for planting.

 

 

Blue Banded Bee - Amegilla cingulata - 1 Mar 2020

Blue Banded Bee visiting Blue Tongue flower

 

Species for planting will be based on our research for Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Blue Tongue or Native Lasiandra Melastoma affine, currently flowering at the Lookout, is very popular with the solitary native bees in the Reserve. Like Blue Banded Bees Amegilla cingulata

Other species observed on the day were Great Carpenter Bees Xylocopa sp., Stingless Native Bees Trigona sp., and caterpillars of Glasswing Acraea andromacha and Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterflies and Pale Brown Hawk Moth Theretra latreillii.

Guide on Patrol 2 - 1 Mar 2020

Guide on Patrol

 

Meanwhile the Rubbish Teams were busy around the Summit and along the roadway collecting the usual fastfood packages and some strange parts fallen off cars.

 

 

 

Griffith Mates Team - 1 Mar 2020

Griffith Mates Bushcare Team

 

 

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Heather with rubbish collection

 

 

 

Thank you to all the community members, the Holland Park Girl Guides and Griffith Mates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Heather Woods for organising the event.

By: Michael Fox

Sheamus O’Connor, Group Leader of Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare, reported on the Group’s first event for 2020 with sad news:

“Unfortunately, an injured koala was found about 50m down from GPP, up on the hill, sitting at the bottom of a tree. She had been bitten by a dog on her wrist and was very sick from infection. Angela, the local wildlife rescuer, collected her however has little hope in full recovery. Let’s hope she recovers.

We’ve got signs now but that is obviously not enough, people ignore them and continue to have their dogs off lead. What will it take for people to take responsibility for their pets?” Sheamus Dog Kills Koala - Feb 2020 adj

 

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As reported in the Southern Star this week the Koala Phascolarctos cinereus did not survive this dog attack.

It is very disappointing that irresponsible individuals still ignore the signs and let their dogs run loose in the Reserve.

Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve is a special place with a wide diversity of flora and fauna including a healthy breeding population of Koalas appreciated by tourists, international students and even increasing property values in the area.

Dogs off-leash are also a problem for walkers with children or people walking their own dogs on-leash. For other people, even a well behaved dog off-leash creates uncertainty because they don’t know how that strange dog will behave around their children or their dog.

Unfortunately, we have reports that challenging walkers with dogs off-leash is often met with aggressive rudeness. So consider simply taking a photo, from a distance, and reporting to Brisbane City Council call centre on 07 3403 8888.

Dogs do love to run loose, so consider visiting the local Abbeville Street Park off-leash area or look for one of the other 150 City Council dog off-leash areas

 

 

Mates on trail - 9 Nov 2019

Fishbone Fighters on the trail

By: Michael Fox

Our Griffith Mates Bushcare team joined us again today to help eradicate the invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia from Fox Gully Bushcare Zone 10.

As always the team was an interesting mix of international students: Osaka Japan with its amazing aquarium, cold Gansu in north-west China where winter temperatures range from -13°C to a toasty 3°C, and a local student with a French heritage whose passion is environmentally sensitive urban planning.

 

Weed Busters - 9 Nov 2019

Fishbone Fighters hard at work

 

 

 

 

The Fishbone Fighters worked hard first cutting back the prickly Barbed Wire Vine Smilax australis which will tear an unsuspecting Bushcarer’s arms to pieces. However, Barbed Wire Vine is very hardy local native which can tolerate a hard cutback to allow access for weed removal.

Proud Bushcarers - 9 Nov 2018

Proud Fishbone Fighers

 

Thanks again to the extraordinary Griffith Mates Bushcare team who have been partnering with Mt Gravatt Environment Group since April 2013.

 

 

Koala spotting circle - 26 Oct 2019

Koala spotting

By: Michael Fox

Griffith Mates joined us again last Saturday for Bushcare. Always a pleasure to show off our forest even if there was not much in the way of flowers to show off in the dry conditions.

Koala mum and Joey - 26 Oct 2019

Koala Mum with Joey snuggled up

 

One surprise we could provide was a Koala Mum and Joey in a tree on Acacia Way.

Griffith Mates in action - 26 Oct 2019

Energy and laughter a great mix

 

 

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The Griffith Mates Bushcare team is always a ball of energy and laughter.

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Grin from ear to ear - 26 Oct 2019.

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Thank you team you are always help me remember the reason I do Bushcare work: the next generation.

First Chinese Scouts - 28 July 2019

Brisbane First Chinese Scout Group

By: Michael Fox

130 participants planted 450 native shrubs, vines and grasses … another successful National Tree Day and another large area of Fox Gully Bushcare restored.

 

As in past years many community groups returned for our 2019 event:

Shinnyoen - National Tree Day 2019, Mt Gravatt Environmental Group

Welcome to Resurge Digital Team … looking forward to meeting again in 2020

Planting Team - 28 July 2019

Holes ready: planting underway

Please accept my apologies if I got any names wrong or missed any groups. I normally do this report soon after the event.

Thank you to the BCC Habitat Brisbane team who organised the plants, mulch and holes for the planting.

National Tree Day is always an inspiration, having all these community members helping us restore the Reserve.

Weeding Team - 28 July 2019

Weeding team returns

The Weeding Team cleared a huge area of the invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia, Fishbone is a native but not to Brisbane bushland and parks where it is an invasive weed.

Thanks to the Teams work Fishbone is well on the way to be eradicated from another part of Fox Gully Bushcare.

Griffith Mates Team - 28 July 2019

Griffith Mates Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Day fun - 29 July 2019

Of course it is never all work and no play.

 

 

 

Jake and Georgia - 18 Oct 2019

Georgia (left) and Jake planting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three months on and thanks to the watering done by Jake, Georgia and Robyn while I was away, only four plants have  died, our best result ever. And click on the photos to see the amazing growth of Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea which is already growing out the top of the green plant shelters.

Spangled Drongo - Dicrurus bracteatus - 18 Oct 2019

Spangled Drongo

 

 

 

Jake, Georgia and Griffith Mates have been working with me to finish the planting. Watched over by a Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus.

 

 

 

 

By: Michael Fox

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

Fruit Piercing Moth Eudocima fullonia

The Clairvaux Bushcare Team are not only great at clearing weeds they also love finding wildlife and added a new moth species to our Flora & Fauna for Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve database: Fruit Piercing Moth Eudocima fullonia

 

 

Hairy Mary - Anthela varia 2 - 22 June 2019

Hairy Mary Anthela varia

 

Morag McKinnon found a Hairy Mary Anthela varia moth caterpillar at Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare.

The Hairy Mary caterpillar has stiff spines that tend to break off in your skin and make it itchy.

Flora & Fauna Moths

By: Michael Fox

Thanks to Fflur Collier, BCC Wildlife Conservation Partnerships I have been able to make valuable additions to our Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve research.

Accurate identification of fungi species can be extremely difficult so tentative identification is used in some cases. Please share any insights or corrections.

Flora and Fauna - Fungi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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