Video: D. Frenkiel

Koala mun and joey on branch - 29 Oct 2017

Koala Mum and Joey – Photo: D. Frenkiel

By: Michael Fox


Hearing loud grunting at night?

Koala breeding season is here, August to February, so males are loudly announcing their availability and we have our first report of a new joey (baby) Koala.

Mountain neighbour Dominic, shared video of a Koala mum with joey clinging to her back while she climbed a Tallowwood Eucalyptus microcorys in Fox Gully Bushcare.

Bottle Brush Grass Tree - Xanthorrhoea macronema - 1 Nov 2017

Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema

Look for Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema in flower along Acacia Way and Eastern Outlook Track. Very popular with our native Stingless Bees Tetragonula sp. and Blue Banded Bees Amegilla cingulata these uncommon Grass Trees are found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve but not in Toohey Forest just one kilometre away across the Motorway.

Daviesia villifera - fower - Aug 07

Bitter Pea Daviesia villifera






Along Acacia Way you will also find Bitter Pea Daviesia villifera with it’s bright yellow flowers and distinctively shaped leaves.

Broad-leaf bramble - Raspberry - Rubus moluccanus - flower - 1 Nov 2017

Broad-leaf bramble (Raspberry) Rubus moluccanus

The Bitter Pea is caterpillar food plant for the Fringed Heath-blue butterfly Neolucia agricola






Look for native raspberries in flower along Acacia Way. We have ten native raspberry species in Queensland. Broad-leaf bramble Rubus moluccanus occurs naturally in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

However, if you want to grow your own native raspberries I recommend Large-fruited Raspberry Rubus probus, fast growing and the biggest raspberries I have ever eaten. Just make sure you restrain it by planting in a large pot as these plants sucker aggressively.

King Parrort Acacia seed

Acacia fimbriata seed                                                       Male King Parrot

Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata has finished its beautiful bright yellow winter flowering. However, if you are lucky you will see a King Parrot Alisterus scapularis feeding on the seeds. Listen for the King Parrot call as you walk.









Pollinator Link

By: Michael Fox GroNative App

What Pollinator Link® garden style do you want to create?

  • Tropical/Balinese
  • Cottage Garden
  • Native Rainforest
  • Birds and Butterflies
  • Kids Garden
  • Native Meadow

Download GroNative App (South East Queensland) to:

  • Explore Garden Styles – what do you want to create?
  • Restore biodiversity for your postcode
  • Choose plants by growth form: Herb, Small Shrub, Climber, Fern, Large Tree
  • Choose plants by biodiversity benefits: Seed-eating birds, Bees, Butterflies
  • Many other options

Create your “My Plants List”: choose trees, grasses, ferns, vines to suit the Pollinator Link® garden you want to create.

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Sunday November 13 – 8:30 to 10:30am

Join a dedicated team restoring valuable remnant forest along Mimosa Creek.

Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve, named after respected local teacher, is home to Koalas and Turtles. Some sections of the Reserve are categorised as Endangered and Of Concern. Restoration of this valuable bushland is a key step in linking Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve with Bulimba Creek.


By: Michael Fox


Griffith Mates Sophie, Jocelyn and Ryan with Noel


Our Griffith Mates partners have again provided valuable for restoration of our Fox Gully Bushcare site. At the last event for 2016 we first checked what species can now be found in the Small Bird Habitat.

Griffith Mates participated in the 2015 National Tree Day planting of the Small Bird Habitat so it was great to be able to show the increase in species diversity in just one year.


Painted Pine Moth Orgyia australis caterpillar

The Small Bird Habitat is an initiative to create the specialised habitat our small forest birds like Variegated Fair Wrens Malurus lamberti. These small insect eating birds are valuable partners in controlling pests in our backyards. Building an effective habitat requires attracting a diverse range of insect species to provide food.

Finding several Painted Pine Moth Orgyia australis caterpillars on site is a good excellent start.




Lydia Lichen Moth Astura lydia

We inspected the Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterfly caterpillars on Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata. I explained that the caterpillars are protected by “Kropotkin” ants – Small Meat Ant Iridomyrmex sp.

We also found a Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia with its curious eyelash like antlers.



Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata


Other excellent signs of habitat building progress was finding seed on Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcataNative Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea and Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra which will provide food for seed eating birds.


Ochna Blitz


After inspecting the Small Bird Habitat progress we moved onto our Ochna Blitz. Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata is a deep rooted invasive garden plant with attractive red and green berries that are eaten by birds then spread into our bush habitat. The objective is to start breaking the weed cycle by collecting, bagging and dumping the seeds then poisoning the plant. Eradicating or at least reducing Ochna in the Reserve will take years but systematic clearing of smaller areas will progressively reduce the spread.

We look forward to partnering with Griffith Mates again in 2017.







By: Michael Fox

Kookaburra box - Fox Gully Bushcare Phase 2 - 7 July 2016

Boobook Owl box

The success of the first ten nest-boxes installed at the Fox Gully Bushcare has confirmed our research which showed the lack of suitable breeding hollows in trees.

The nest-boxes were installed in October 2012 and since then Squirrel Gliders Petaurus norfolcensis have been breeding and now two Glider families occupy five boxes. The first tenant in the boxes was a Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in the Kookaburra box at the junction of the Geebung Track and the Farm Fire Trail. She has since raised two joeys and if you look into the box from the Geebung Track you will see her curled up asleep.


Kookaburras took over the Bookbook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae box and have raised two clutches of chicks. Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus have raised chicks in the Lorikeet/Rosella boxes.


Play spot the nest-box when you walk the Geebung Track with your kids.

What species uses what box? 

Glider box - Geebung Track - 7 July 2016 lowres

Squirrel Glider or Scaly-breasted Lorikeet box


Micro-bats (three species identified in Reserve)

  • White-striped Freetail Bat Tadarida australis 
  • Gould’s Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii
  • Common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis

Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis











Also keep an eye out for birds creating nest hollows in the trees.

Sulphur-creasted Cockatoo - clearing hollow - 30 June 2016

Just last week I photographed a pair of Sulphur-creasted Cockatoo Cacatua galerita clearing out a hollow where a branch has broken from a Spotted Gum Corymbia citriodora v variegata.












By: Michael Fox

Our Koalas becoming a tourist attraction for Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve:


Levi “Eagle Eyes” Koala 

“Today my son and I went for a walk through the Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and headed on down to Fox Gully to look at your handy work. It’s looking great including all the nest boxes around the area. On the way back I gave my ‘eagle eyes’ son, Levi, a challenge to spot a koala. To my great delight within a minute or two he succeeded! I have attached a photo – not a great one as it was very high up – look for the bump in the second fork up! Thank you for inspiring me to improve my own garden (kookaburra box is up and fingers are crossed!) and for everything that you do for nature.”

Michelle Fatur

See Koala adventures Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


By: Michael Fox


“After a community barbecue on Australia Day afternoon, a group of us wandered into the enchanting Toohey Forest to admire the work of Mount Gravatt Environment Group. While we checked out the breeding boxes that had been built for squirrel gliders, my wife captured this photo of our daughters playing and laughing together, enjoying the Australian bush. As much as these two precious souls belong to us, they also belong to a community and a place where they feel free and safe, exploring the beauty of nature. Watching their delight brings us such joy.” Scott

Miranda with mural - 8 July 2016


Proud Miranda with her photo chosen to be part of the State Library’s Belonging in Queensland mural 





.Frederick_McCubbin_-_The_pioneer_-_Google_Art_Project lowres



Miranda’s amazing photo is like a modern day Frederick McCubbin, capturing the spirit of the Australian bush in the same special way.






Pollinator Link

By: Michael Fox

Our second Pollinator Link article in Living in the Shires magazine looks at that great friend of our weekend backyard barbecue events, Micro-bats.

I met the magazine editor, Susan Prior, this week and discussed her article, Nancy on Nolan, which left me wishing we had visited MONA when we were in Tasmania last month. David Gowdie, Harcourts Graceville, sponsors this excellent community magazine. See David’s article – Spring Time = Growth Time on page 3.

Mighty Fine Book Swap - 14 Sept 2015 Need a book to read?

Susan herself is interesting. After I left the Harcourts office I stopped to photograph this curious footpath bookcase. The sign reads Mighty Fine Book Swap. Another generous community initiative of Susan’s. The Shires are looking like a good community to live in.

Learn more about microbats:

Bat Conservation & Rescue QLD Inc.

Microbats of Brisbane’s Inner West (2015)
A report for the Cubberla-Witton Catchments Network…

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WOW! What a powerful community effort!
Justin your Pollinator Link project is, like Laurie and Sheamus’ project at Mt Gravatt SHS, is linking people as well as wildlife.
I know from our work in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve that you definitely will find yourselves looking, sooner than you expect, at what you have achieved with pride.
Congratulations to you and the team.
Michael Fox
Project Director
Pollinator Link Project

MGESS Pollinator Link

Twenty-oddpeople turned up, and the plants were all planted in blinding speed! Not only that, but we successfully mulched not just the planting but the whole southern half of the embankment.

Our first community planting day was a resounding success. Our first community planting day was a resounding success. Rubbish accumulating in the above car park is also an ongoing problem, Claudia T hooked in and had it all picked up and bagged in the blink of an eye. With the plants in and the watering done, everyone was onto mulch. Gareth J had buckets filling with mulch in the trailer and a conga-line that would leave any Cuban envious!

Gareth came up with the brilliant idea of setting the buckets up in a grid pattern in the trailer and shovelling mulch straight in over the top. Paul and Gareth hard at work at the head of the mulching production line. thanks goes to Terra Regenerators and Damian Green for lending their mulch forks. Gareth came up with the brilliant idea of setting the buckets up in a grid pattern in the trailer and shovelling mulch…

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Consolidation of habitat by restoration is currently underway at our five bushcare sites. Linking Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve with other habitat is currently focused on restoration of the Fox Gully wildlife corridor through private property and the Pollinator Link project. Longer term we want to look at wildlife bridges/tunnels.
Michael Fox

Kylie Soanes's Research

Do you know the most common question I get about wildlife crossing structures? Surprisingly, it’s not ‘do they work?’. It’s ‘how do you teach them how to use it?’. I understand why people are skeptical. Sure, a big, safe bridge for wildlife sounds like a great idea, but animals aren’t smart enough to know the difference between a safe spot and a dangerous spot. Are they? After all, they can’t even read! said no animal ever Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on wildlife commonsense. We road ecologists have a few tricks up our sleeves to make sure that animals do use these structures and don’t just cross wherever they feel like.

Location location location

Ideally, we’ve had a chance to study the animals living nearby before the road and crossing structures are put in. We spy on them with cameras, track them with GPS collars and generally stalk them about the country-side. If…

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