Wildlife of Mt Gravatt Reserve


By: Michael Fox

Guinea Grass gone - 27 April 2019

Clearing Guinea Grass                                                             Weeds busted

Red Natel Grass - 27 April 2019

Red Natal Grass Busted

I welcomed the Australia China Youth Association (ACYA) team yesterday to weed the  2015/16 National Tree Day planting.

The Small Bird Planting is thriving, however, the Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus and Red Natal Grass Melinis repens that covered the site before restoration are still regrowing from seed. By clearing the weed grasses before a new crop of seed sets we will break the cycle of infestation.

The team got stuck right in bagging the seed heads for removal off site before they removed the grasses.

Common Crow - Euploea core - male sex brand - 27 April 2019

Common Crow sex brand

 

 

The ACYA team are always interested in finding native wildlife when they come to Bushcare.

The first find was a handsome male Common Crow Euploea core butterfly. I explained that some male butterflies have sex brands they use to store pheromones impress the girls.

Blue Tiger - claws 1 - 6 Feb 2015 cropped

Blue Tiger butterfly claws

 

Common Crow butterflies use their claws to scratch the leaves on Parsonsia vines. Butterflies taste with their feed to check they have the correct species of plant and males store alkaloids from the leaves to help with breeding.

Imperial Hairstreak - Jalmenus evagoras - butterflies - 27 April 2019

Imperial Hairstreak butterflies

 

 

 

 

We also found lots of Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterflies at the 2018 National Tree Day planting site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found Imperial Hairstreak chrysalis on the Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata planted in July 2018. The caterpillars and chrysalis are protected by native Small Meat Ants in return for sugary extrusions.

 

 

Variable Ladybird Beetle - Coelophora inaequalis - 27 April 2019

Variable Ladybird Beetle

 

 

 

A number of Variable Ladybird Beetles Coelophora inaequalis were found by Wento.

It is very encouraging to find bugs visiting the replanted habitat. The more insects the more insect eating small birds will return.

 

 

 

 

Stingless Native Bee - Tetragonula sp. - hive - 27 April 2019

Stingless Native Bee hive

 

 

To finish the morning I showed the team a Stingless Native Bee hive in an old log.

 

 

 

Stingless Native Bee - Tetragonula sp. - 27 April 2019

Stingless Native Bee

 

 

 

 

They had heard about our Stingless Native Bees but they were surprised to see how small they are: small than a house fly.

While these tiny bees are stingless they have very powerful jaws.

Team - 27 April 2019

ACYA team

 

 

 

Thank you team. It is always a pleasure to welcome you to Bushcare, hear your stories and share my knowledge.

Help build on our success. Register for 2019 National Tree Day.

 

By: Michael Fox

 

Members of the Australian Chinese Youth Association (ACYA) joined me yesterday to restore Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. A diverse group with students from China, Japan and Australia, all passionate about working with China.

The team were also all interested in everything I showed them, like the Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula growing, not in cool shady gullies but on dry rocky Mt Gravatt.

Proud Bushcare team - 23 March 2019

Weed Busters at work removing Fishbone Fern

 

Casey asked what we do in the forest so I showed the National Tree Day plantings and explained our work educating and engaging community members with grant funding for interpretive signs and maps of walking tracks.

I put the team to work removing invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia. A native species indigenous to north Queensland it is an environmental weed in Brisbane spreading from garden waste dumped in bushland and smothering local natives.

Bark Cockroach - Laxta sp. - 23 March 2019

Bark Cockroach

 

 

Remember I said the team were interested in everything?

We have never found so many different species at one time. Casey found one of our bush cockroaches: Bark Cockroaches Laxta sp. live in the leaf litter preforming valuable recycling work.

 

Black Woodland Cockroach - Platyzosteria melanaria - 23 March 2019

Black Woodland Cockroach

 

 

A Black Woodland Cockroach Platyzosteria melanaria is a new addition to our Flora and Fauna species list.

 

 

 

Brisbane brush-footed trapdoor - Seqocrypta jakara - 23 March 2019

Brisbane Brush-footed Trapdoor Spider

 

Brisbane Brush-footed Trapdoor Spider  Seqocrypta jakara is another new species identified.

 

 

 

Net-casting Spider - Deinopis sp. - young - 23 March 2019

Net-casting Spider

 

 

 

 

 

A newly hatched Net-casting Spider Deinopis sp.

Brown Huntsman - Heteropoda sp. - 23 March 2019

Brown Huntsman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think Wentao (right) set a new record for finding wildlife including a Brown Huntsman Heteropoda sp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weeding disturbed a  Sugar Ant Camponotus sp. The ants immediately got busy relocating their larvae and when I checked today the site was completely clear.

 

 

 

Fungi - 23 March 2019

 

 

 

 

Cute fungi were also found.

 

 

Tiny mushroom fungi - 23 March 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny mushroom fungi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight plus bags of weeds - 23 March 2019

Proud Weed Busters

 

 

Eight and quarter bags of weeds removed and ready to go to Green Waste at the dump. We compost most weeds onsite however the roots and nodules of Fishbone need to be removed from site or they regrow.

Thank you to the ACYA team. Looking forward to welcoming you back in two weeks.

koala - fox gully - jason tash - 15 dec 2018

It’s tough being a mum at Christmas.

By: Michael Fox

Thanks to our Koala spotters I have more photos of our cute neighbours to share.

Jason and Tash are always happy when they have Koalas visiting their Fox Gully property.

So they were very pleased when this poor long suffering mum and her joey posed for their American visitors.

 

koalas - firefly gully - 29 dec 2019 - three in one

Three for one in Firefly Gully

 

 

 

 

Toni was really proud when she photographed  three Koalas in one tree in Firefly Gully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

koala - outlook - 5 jan 2019

 

 

Thanks to Michelle for this photo of a Koala posing for visitors at Mt Gravatt Lookout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

koala - outlook drive2 - 5 jan 2019

 

 

On the way back down the mountain Michaelle spotted another Koala.

Not a bad start to 2019.

 

Dogs are allowed in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve but please keep them on a leash as Koalas are currently breeding.

 

 

By: Michael Fox

Mother of Millions - Bryophyllum tubiflorum - weeds - 29 May 2018

Mother-of-Millions

Tuesday Bushcare focused on maintenance and clearing weeds at the 2017 National Tree Day planting site.

Two garbage bags of Mother-of-Millions Bryophyllum tubiflorum removed will not eradicate this garden escapee. Complete eradication will take years however systematic control will reduce the spread while the area is cleared of other weeds.

Resurrection Plant - Bryophyllum pinnatum - leaf sprouting - 13 Apr 2018 lr

Resurrection Plant growing from a leaf.

Dumping garden waste like Mother-of-Millions is a real problem for our bushland, parks and creeks. Being a succulent it survives even in harsh conditions. Like Resurrection Plant Bryophyllum pinnatum, another invader from Madagascar, Mother-of-Millions regrows from as little as a single leaf. Garden waste like lawn clippings, prunings from shrubs and old pot plants are rubbish not compost adding value to bushland.

 

 

Dump garden rubbish in rubbish bin not in bushland.

 

 

 

I was also able to show Jake and Carl some of our interesting flora.

Like the curious Bird’s Nest Fungi Cyathus novaezelandiae which propagates by the action of rain drops knock the egg-like peridioles out of the cup shaped fruit body.

 

 

 

 

We also found moss fruiting. Orthodontium lineare, called Cape Thread-moss in the United Kingdom, an addition to our Flora & Fauna Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve species list.

 

 

Insect - 29 May 2018

Rasp Fern

 

 

Rasp Fern Doodia media (australis) with an, as yet, unidentified insect. You realise how well named Rasp fern is when you run your fingers over the leaves: they feel just like the rough sharp surface of a wood rasp.

Star Goodenia - Goodenia rotundifolia - 29 May 2018 cropped

Star Goodenia

 

 

Star Goodenia Goodenia rotundifolia is easy to identify with its unique leaf shape.

The yellow flowered Star Goodenia is a caterpillar food plant for the Meadow Argus Junonia villida butterfly.

 

Pardalote nest holes - 29 May 2018 lr

Pardalote nest holes

 

 

 

We also found what are probably nest holes for the small Pardalotes: small birds that dig nest holes in earth banks but spend most of their time high in the trees where you can hear their distinctive “chip chip chip” call. Watch video of Striated Pardalote.

 

By: Michael Fox

 

Tuesday Bushcare today was weeding the 2015/16 National Tree Day planting and preparing for this year’s planting site.

The planting was planned to create habitat for small forest birds. A combination of Habitat Tripods to create the scrubby tangled space that is safe for birds like Fairy Wrens to nest and attracting insects as food for Fairy Wrens. #WaterFoodShelter

Large Grass Yellow - Eurema hecabe - 24 Apr 2018 lr

Large Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe

Today’s Bushcare was very special as I three species to our database: Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

A dragonfly, Black-headed Skimmer Crocothemis nigrifrons, two Large Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe butterflies doing some speed dating and a Brown Bush Fly Musca terraereginae are all new species add to the database.

 

Brown Bush Fly - Musca terraereginae - 24 Apr 2018 cropped

Brown Bush Fly Musca terraereginae 

We also spotted Wide-brand Grass-dart  Suniana Sunias and Small Dusky Blue – Candalides erinus butterflies and a Magpie Moth Nyctemera secundiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding all these species in the small bird habitat is evidence of success and an excellent example of how Pollinator Link Plant Local to Feed Locals can bring Birds, Butterflies and Bees to your garden. #WaterFoodShelter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Koala - Acacia Way - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

By: Michael Fox

 

Walking the Mountain this morning we saw a pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos Cacatua galerita high in the trees getting very upset about something. Initially we thought they were getting upset with a murder of Crows in the trees.

Stingless Native Bees Bottle Brush Grass Tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Stingless Native Bee

Then Jude spotted a Koala hanging on for dear life as the Cockatoos and Crows all harried it.

 

In the same area I found tiny Stingless Native Bees Tetragonula sp. collecting nectar and pollen on Bottle Brush Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea macronema flowers.

Look for the pollen on legs.

 

 

Ringtail Possume - dead tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

Ringtail Possum nesting in dead tree

 

 

Our last find was a Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus asleep in its nest in a dead tree.

 

 

Ringtail Possum nest in dead tree - 10 Nov 2017 lowres

 

 

 

Dead trees (called stags) are an important part of our bushland habitat providing homes for insects, lizards, birds and even Possums.

 

 

 

Sherwood Scouts - 27 May 2017

On patrol on Farm Fire Trail

By: Michael Fox

It was a pleasure to welcome the Sherwood Scouts to Fox Gully Bushcare on Saturday.

Scout Leader Kate had a range of activities prepared to build skills in reading contour maps and using a compass.

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Ringtail family - 27 May 2017

Ringtail family

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First stop was the Federation Track to see a family of Ringtail Possums Pseudocheirus peregrinus. High in a tree with strong backlighting the two adults and a joey were hard to photograph.

 

 

 

Ed checks nest box - 27 May 2017

Checking Glider box with GoPro camera

 

Scout Ed tried his hand using the GoPro camera on a pole to check one of the new Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis nest boxes.

Nest box installation is an important part of habitat restoration as till July 1893 the mountain and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve. My intial survey of the 2ha of Fox Gully Bushcare reflects this history with only thirty six trees older than 100 years and only five old enough to have a 50% chance of having nest hollows. Many bird species and arboreal marsupials like Giders depend on tree hollows for breeding. Nest boxes provide a interim solution for these species as the forest recovers and natural tree hollows develop.

DCIM100GOPRO

Squirrel Glider at home

The initial installation of ten Hollowlog Home nest boxes 2012 was so successful that BCC Habitat Brisbane organised installation of an extra ten boxes last year.

So it was particularly special to find our find a Squirrel Glider in one of the new boxes. Squirrel Glider are listed as threatened by Brisbane City Council and families typically use up to five nest hollows.

Brushtail - Kookaburra Box - 27May 2017

Mother Brushtail at home

With installation of nest boxes the initial one family of Squirrel Gliders has been breeding and there are now two families living in the Bushcare site. Evidence that the Gliders have now started using the new nest boxes is a sign that the population of these special creatures may expand further.

Continuing on down the Geebung Track we checked on mother Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in the Kookaburra nest box. Mother Brushtail moved in shortly after the initial installation and has since raised at least two joeys in her home.

Returning via the Eastern Outlook Track we examined the seam of quartz rock that runs through the mountain, the natural regeneration in the area where Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses has been cleared and the Stingless Beehive Tetragonula sp. in a fallen tree.

The Scouts had a good time and we hope to welcome them back for National Tree Day on 30 July

 

 

 

 

 

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