Wildlife


By: Michael Fox

Compost pile Creeping Lantan - 15 Aug 2017 lr

Creeping Lantana removed into piles

The old car park area will be restored as the 500 plants mature and spread.

Nature will now take over natural regeneration of the 500 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses* cleared by the Lantana Buster Team on National Tree Day.

Seed stock of native grasses like Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus will still be in the soil and with the Lantana not suppressing regrowth the grasses will return with the summer rain.

Griffith Mates - 25 April 2015

Griffith Mates clear the last weeds

 

The work of our Griffith Mates partners shows the effectiveness of natural regeneration techniques. The team removed the last Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia* from Fox Gully Bushcare Zone 8 in April 2015. Note the bare ground.

 

 

Graceful Grass - Ottochloa gracillima - 14 Aug 2017

Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2017 and Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima is returning naturally. Second hand decking timber is reused to manage erosion on the steep slope and collect leaf litter to retain moisture.

 

Shelter for lizards - 15 Aug 2017 lr

Lizard highways

 

 

 

Providing Shelter for wildlife helps nature bring the wildlife back to the site.

The piles of fallen branches are restored to the site to create lizard highways across the areas cleared of Creeping Lantana.

Eastern Bearded Dragon - Pogona barbata - 1 Aug 2017

Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata

 

 

 

Lizards like this young Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata are at risk crossing the bare weed-free ground. Creating lizard highways allows these cute creatures to stay safe while they hunt for lunch.

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By: Michael Fox

 

In June 2013 a young neighbour Liam knocked on my door with an moth caterpillar in a box. A Large Anthelid Moth – Anthela canescens caterpillar.

 

I learnt a lot studying Liam’s caterpillar particularly about defense mechanisms. The Anthela canescens has non-envenomating (no venom) hairs that produce a mechanical irritation on contact. The hairs are fragile and easily dislodged from the caterpillar, they adhere to the surface of skin when the caterpillar is contacted.

Other moth caterpillars like the curious Mottled Cup Moth caterpillar Doratifera vulnerans have more active defenses with venomous spines they deploy along their sides like a galleon running out its canons. The venom is not dangerous but does pack a sting if you brush against the caterpillar.

So I was pleased to find a Large Anthelid Moth yesterday. So I now know what Liam’s caterpillar would grow into.

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Large Anthelid Moth plumose antennae

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I was fascinated by the moth’s “furry” plumose antennae.

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Close-up showing antennae hairs

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“There are many variations in both the shape and the amount of bristles in plumose antennae. In moths, the plumose antennae of the males act as chemoreceptors and enable them to detect pheremones given off by the female. The hairs on each antenna significantly increases the receptive surface area so that even the most minute chemical changes in the environment can be detected.”

University of Sydney Biological Sciences 

I have updated the Flora & Fauna files.

Check what other moths are found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

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Join Griffith Mates for the Ochna Blitz Challenge!

Saturday 24 September 8am to 11am

Map

2016 National Tree Day planting

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Location: Junction of Geebung and Federation Tracks (behind green water reservoir)

We will do a walk through the National Tree Day planting and some light weeding then move onto the Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata.

The planting site is looking great with trees and vines planted in 2015 now flowering and producing seed. A Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata is already hosting caterpillars of the Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterfly.

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The caterpillar is protected by “Kropotkin” ants – Small Meat Ant Iridomyrmex sp. The ants provide protection in return for sugary fluids secreted by caterpillar. Imperial Hairstreaks will only return to breed where both caterpillar food plants and the ants are present.
Kropotkin is a reference to Russian biologist Peter Kropotkin who proposed a concept of evolution based on “mutual aid” between species helping species from ants to higher mammals survive.

The combination of rain and clearing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis means the Ochna is thriving and it is covered in flowers and seeds. However, the rain also means must easier to pull our either by hand or Treepopper.

 

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.

Koala - climbing - Miranda Scott - 11 June 2016

By: Michael Fox

Fox Gully neighbours Miranda, Scott and children, Freya and Clementine, had a special wildlife experience today.

Walking the Geebung Track just near the National Tree Day planting site the family spotted a Koala Phascolarctos cinereus on the ground beside a tree. They managed to get a special photo of the Koala reaching up to climb a tree.

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Koala - Scott and Miranda - 11 June 20161

                                                                Koala beside Geebung Track

The family’s sighting has been added to Koala Tracker and our Google Earth map of wildlife sightings.

Google Map - Koalas 2016

                      Koala sightings 2016

Koala 8 June 2016

Koala in Tallowwood

8 June 2016

Healthy-looking Koala at Gertrude Petty Place 

He (or she) was in a large Tallowwood between public housing at 59 Gosford Street and footpath from Gertrude Petty Place to Federation Outlook this afternoon. Was quite high up so this is the best I could do with my Iphone.

Also two quite large microbats patrolling GPP at 5.15pm tonight.

Sue Jones

 

Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus - 23 Apr 2016

Koala – Federation Track

23 April 2016

Griffith Mates – Lantana Busters

Our Griffith Mates bushcare partners were very happy to find a Koala beside the Federation Track heading down to Granby Street.

 

 

 

Koala - Vittal - 17 April 2016

Koala – Federation Track

17 April 2016

Koala along Federation Track 

We are sighting a koala bear for last two weeks, during a trek to Mount Gravatt lookout.
Today, we sighted them on top of a eucalyptus tree 100m from carpark near Logan Road entry. Last week, sighted them near Federation lookout.

Attaching pictures of the same to inform respective authority.

Vittal

 

 

Koala - Upper Ekibin Creek - Pieter D. 9 April 2016 close

Koala – Ekibin Creek – P. Demmers

9 April 2016

Koala – Ekibin Creek Pollinator Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koala - Fox Gully 10 Dec 2016 - Maria Hill adj

Koala – Fox Gully

 

Koala – Fox Gully Pollinator Link

Maria, Matt and their children often find Koalas in the trees right behind their house.

In January 2013 the family had a Koala mum and joey visiting.

Photo: Maria Hill

 

By: Michael Fox

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Summit Track entry

Council contractors have started redevelopment of the entry to the Summit Track. The objective is to change the signage and entry to make the track more inviting to visitors.

The recycled porphyry street guttering is being used for steps will create a very attractive entry to tempt picnickers into the forest.

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Butterfly sign

Butterfly interpenetrate sign

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Once work is finished a new interpretative sign will be installed at the site.

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Dainty Swallowtail  12 Mar 2016 low res

Dainty Swallowtail on Barded Wire Grass

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The natural amphitheater created by the slope of the picnic grounds is a popular speed dating site for butterflies. I photographed a beautiful Dainty Swallowtail Papilio anactus flying around this morning. The butterfly has landed on native Barbed Wire Grass Cymbopogon refractus.

Find out about butterflies found in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 

 

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Mimosa Creek in flood – Jan 2015

Edited By: Michael Fox

Saturday December 5th was the last working bee of the year at Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve.

2015 started out very wet with January storms flooding the new bikeway bridge over Mimosa Creek.

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Flood damage repair – straightening and staking

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After the flood Lomandras have done there job holding the bank in place. However, the newly planted trees are a different story with most knocked flat by flood water.  Liz, Marshal and I moved in to straighten and stake before this beautiful new planting is lost.

Zone 2 - 22 May 2015

Zone 2 – weed infestation May 2015

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Repairs done our Bushcare team returned to working in Zone 2 to tackle the infestation of Guinea Grass Panicum maximum, Small Leafed Privet Ligustrum sinense, Easter Cassia Senna pendula and Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus.

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Zone 2 - 15 Dec 2015

Zone 2 – weeds gone – natives returning

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Having cleared the larger weed species the area we are working on near the boundary with Upper Mount Gravatt School now resembles a primary forest. In the open spaces, native plants no longer smothered in weeds, are springing back to life. Many Cheese trees Glochidion ferdinandi, free from competition are racing for the sky. Ground covers such as Native Wandering Jew Commelina diffusa and Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus are protecting the soil from erosion and keeping it cool, acting as Living Mulch.

Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas - 15 Dec 2015

Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas

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As we were packing up and looking forward to morning tea, a delicate Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas damselfly with bright metallic green stripes paid a visit, hovering over a small patch of vegetation.

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Koala 13 Nov 2015

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

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We now have proof at last that it’s not just Mount Gravatt that is home to Koalas Phascolarctos cinereus. The one pictured here, almost invisible from the path was spotted last month by a dog walker. A mother and baby have also been sighted. This is another good reason to keep weeds at bay. Koalas need to come to the ground and move across the forest floor to look for suitable food trees. Their task is made much harder when there’s a lot of thick weedy vegetation in the way.

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