Wildlife Corridor


By: Michael Fox

Koala 2 - Nathan onramp - 3 July 2017

Healthy young male Koala

“Let me know if I can help lobbying for Koala fencing or wildlife bridges. It breaks my heart to see the good work we have been doing undone so quickly.” Matt

I had just collected a healthy young male Koala dead beside the Mains Road on-ramp to the Pacific Motorway. Fox Gully Bushcare neighbour Miranda had emailed to let me know she had seen a Koala beside to road as she drove to work.

Sadly this young Koala was dead when I arrived so all I could do was collect him and call the RSPCA  Animal Ambulance: 1300 ANIMAL

 

Map - Koala - young male hit by car 3 July 2017

Koala dead beside on-ramp

Matt’s frustration reflects the number of Koala that have been killed trying to cross the Motorway from Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Limited wildlife fencing around the Griffith Bus Station and no fence at all on one side of the Mains Road on-ramp (red line) means nothing separates the traffic from the trees on which Koalas are feeding.

At least three joey Koalas were born in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve in 2016 however I think we lost one of those joeys today.

 

I have previously discussed the possibility of wildlife fencing with Griffith researcher, Cathryn Dexter: co-author of the 2013 Koala Retrofit Works Program report for Main Roads. Cathryn explained some of the many issues in designing and maintaining effective Koala fencing. Also considering we have had a Koala killed on Klumpp Road and a number of car strikes on Creek Road, effective Koala protection in our urban environment will require significant commitment to building wildlife crossings to connect fragmented bushland habitats.

Back to Matt’s question about how to help with lobbying. Create and certify your own Pollinator Link® garden: Water, Food and Shelter for wildlife.

One person or one family may not have a lot of influence, however, every individual Pollinator Link® garden registered contributes to achieving our goal of 30,000 Brisbane gardens by 2022.

The support of 30,000 Brisbane households will give us the influence at local and state government levels to push for more wildlife fencing and road crossings.

You can become a Pollinator Link® Hero by getting ten family, friends or neighbours to create Certified Pollinator Link® gardens and help bring a bit of Australian bush back to Brisbane backyard.

Target 30,000 by 2022

 

 

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By: Michael FoxKoala - 50 O'Grady - 201 Aug 2016

Neighbours, Roger and Margaret called a short while ago. A Koala had just come down one tree and jumped across to another tree in the gully.

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Looks young and definitely male.

Koala male - 50 O'Grady - 201 Aug 2016 low res

It’s a boy

 

Breeding season has started so the males will be on the move.

Koalas are particularly to dog attack when they are on the ground moving between trees. So it is important that dogs are kept on a leash when visiting Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

By: Michael Fox

Brush-turkey mound - 27 Dec 2015

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A special Christmas with a Brush-turkey Alectura lathami chick hatched from mound built in the Fox Gully wildlife corridor. The male turkey has been scratching together mulch, and some plants to build a mound to impress his two girlfriends. He obviously did a good job as we now have at least one new chick in the gully.

Brush-turkeys are a challenge for gardeners however they are part of our bush habitat.

Exocarpos cupressiformis - 22 Nov 2014By: Michael Fox

Identification of Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis brings to two hundred and seventy-four plant species identified within Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 Mt Gravatt Then and Now, Mt Gravatt Historical Society, records that in July 1883 our local Mt Gravatt community convinced the state government to protect the Reserve which had previously been logged as railway timber reserve.

In 2014 it is our turn to protect this unique high diversity habitat. The 274 native plant species our 66 hectare Reserve is equal to 11% of of all species in Great Britain which is 22.6 million hectares.

Protecting and restoring this habitat is a whole of community effort with Griffith Mates joining our Bushcare teams, Mt Gravatt Kindy protecting their part of the habitat and installing nest boxes  so the next generation learns, Mt Gravatt State High School and Fox Gully neighbours supporting efforts to build Pollinator Link wildlife corridors linking the Reserve to other habitats.

Koalas breeding successfully is one measure of our progress.

Track sign Roly Chapman - 29 Oct 2014 - lowres

Cr Krista Adams – new bike path map

By: Michael Fox

Photography: Alan Moore

Inspecting the new bike path through Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve today with  Cr Krista Adams, I commented on the professionalism and design sensitivity the BCC Bikeways Project team and contractors working is a sensitive habitat area.

Cr Krista Adams is a strong supporter of our bush restoration work and keen to explore ways to balance pressure of our urban environment with valuable bushland remnant habitat.

Brisbane best bike path - 29 Oct 2014

Path curves to minimise tree loss

The Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan identified the bike path will support long term investment in habitat restoration within Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve as community access is enhanced. The more community members value the Reserve as peaceful place to walk or ride, the more the City Council can allocate to habitat restoration and building wild life corridors.

Connecting with the existing path, near the Hoad Street entry to the Reserve, the new bike/walking path weaves its shady way among valuable Ironbarks, Scribbly Gums and Queensland Blue Gums – Koala’s favorite food tree, before crossing Mimosa Creek to link with the Klumpp Road Park & Ride.

Vegetation Communities and Connectivity Options BAAM

Vegetation Communities – BAAM 2011

Thoughtful planning has been critical to minimise impacts on vegetation as it is boarded by two significant remnant vegetation communities identified in the 2011 BAMM corridor assessment report.

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Restoration Mimosa Creek crossing

Aside from minimising tree loss with carefully planned curves, the design required the path to be laid above ground to reduce the impact excavation would have on tree roots. Running cabling for lights still required excavation however impact was reduced by use of vacuum excavation around significant tree roots. Were trees did have to be removed the logs were distributed in the bush to create habitat required by species like Echidnas that dig for insects living under fallen timber.

Wildlife Furniture - Mimosa Creek - 30 Oct 2014

Flow disruptors to support fish movement in flood conditions

Crossing Mimosa Creek was sensitive and restoration a work particularly important to manage erosion. One  bonus was removal of a large area of invasive Balloon Vine Cardiospermum grandiflorum and Madeira Vine Anredera cordifolia, as well as, a large Camphor Laurel Cinnamomum camphora.

One unexpected design feature was installation of animal or wildlife furniture in the creek crossing. I had never heard to term “wildlife furniture” before Krista introduced the term when we inspected the creek crossing. BCC designers draw on a range of “furniture” used to create wildlife corridors for everything koalas and gliders to lizards.

In this case heavy water flows in local flood conditions required the installation flow disruptors to allow fish and turtles to move upstream.

Working with the huge City Council bureaucracy can be frustrating, however, the size of the organisation means that it also has the capacity to draw on high quality expert teams for projects.

 

By: Michael Fox

Noisy Pittas are normally found in rainforest habitat like Lamington National Park or Tamborine National Parks where our New Zealand visitor captured the video above.

Marshal Kloske rang today really excited. A brightly coloured plump bird he had never seen before was pecking around the ground under his bird feeder. Initially he thought it was some sort of parrot then it turned its head … no curved beak. Marshal had a Noisy Pitta Pitta versicolour in the Firefly Gully wildlife corridor. First glow in the dark mushrooms now my favourite bird.

We had another sighting of this cute little bird in March 2013. It is a hopeful sign that small forest birds are returning to our mountain gullies.

Let us know if you see a Pitta – megoutlook@gmail.com

 

 

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Toni – woman of action

By: Michael Fox

Restoration of Firefly Gully wildlife corridor has reached a new stage with the on Toni McDonald’s section of the gully.

Like Fox Gully, the wildlife corridor is being created on private property which includes the gully, so success is critically dependent on property owners being engaged.

Marshal has already done extensive restoration on the other side of the gully where he has nurtured the Glow in the Dark Mushrooms. Firefly Gully is named for the fireflies which are found in wet weather.

Years of rubbish dumping by previous owners and infestation of the steep slope with weeds like Guinea  Grass Panicum maximum v maximum, Castor Oil Plant Ricinus communis and Madeira Vine Anredera cordifolia has created a significant challenge.

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Toni and Marshal reflecting on a good afternoon’s work

The first step for a job like this is getting access infrastructure in-place to make a safe work place, save time and effort and retain mulch on the slope. Steps will give access to the bottom of the slope and allow easy access to planks laid across the slop at approximately one metre spacing. Planks came from Fox Gully neighbours who are currently replacing their deck. Stakes to hold planks in-place are recycled decking timber, cut to length and pointed. This not only reduces the cost of the project it also reduces waste going to landfill.

Recycling also extends to a lot of the rubbish being removed with old stair stringers being used for planks on the slope and broken bricks used as back fill to make the steps. We even found a complete roll of builder’s black plastic that will be used at our other sites for composting weeds.

Restoring Firefly Gully is part of the initiative to rebuild wildlife corridors between Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and Mimosa Creek outlined in Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan. Koalas are already moving into these gully corridors.

 

 

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