By: Michael Fox

Nominated by Heather Woods, I am, along with many other amazing people and organisations, a Finalist for the BCC Cleaner Suburbs Awards.

Catchment Champions Award Finalist

jamies-kids-sandy-jamie-karen-jenny-noel-5-mar-2017-lowres

Clean Up Australia Day 2017 

“Michael runs the communications for Mt Gravatt Environment Group (a loose coalition of five Habitat Brisbane Bushcare groups) as well as for the Fox Gully Bushcare group. His many activities include weekly litter prevention and working bees around Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve, and a National Tree Day planting event yearly which includes a litter clean-up as preparation. Michael also created the Pollinator Link initiative and runs workshops which support Bushcare Groups to communicate their impacts.”

 

Vote now

Smiles all round - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

National Tree Day 2017

Visit the Cleaner Suburbs Awards site to read about the amazing work being done by community members and vote for your favourite Litter Prevention Champion.

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By: Michael Fox

Smiles all round - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

I was so busy on the day I really didn’t appreciate the happy energy of the our National Tree Day until I started looking at the photos. Click on the image to enlarge.

Our National Tree Day event is growing every year with more community members, many groups returning and new groups attending.

National Tree Day 2017 results:

  • 150 participants
  • 500 natives planted
  • 500 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses removed
  • Dozens of biscuits, apples and mandarins eaten for morning tea.
  • More smiles than you could count.

Community groups participating:

Planting - National Tree Day 2017 - 30 July 2017

The Planting Team in action. Extra plants were ordered however the Planting Team still ran out … next year we will order still more plants, more gloves and more plant shelters. The quality of the planting was also excellent, thank you. Click on the image to enlarge.

Lantana Busters - National Tree Day - 30 July 2017

Lantana Busters in action. We will definitely welcome this team back … look at the huge pile of weeds almost taller than our young Lantana Buster (bottom right). Click on the image to enlarge.
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The final step in site restoration was replacement of the dead timber that was removed to make the site safe for the event. Dead timber on the ground is an important habitat component which allows lizards to move safely across the site as well as providing shelter for insects and food for woody pore fungi.

See more high quality event photos on Facebook.

Thank you to:

  • Fox Gully Bushcare team members: Marshal and Liz
  • Our BCC Habitat Brisbane team Anna: who organised the plants, mulch and hole digging, and Emma: who patiently provided safe road crossing on the day.
  • Alan Moore Photographer

 

 

 

 

Team 1 July 2017

Griffith Mates Bushcare Team

By: Michael Fox

Our Griffith Mates partners were back today, again led by Sienna Harris, Griffith University Ecological Science student.

 

Rainbow Lorikeet - 22 July 2017 low res

Rainbow Lorikeet checking nest hollow

 

 

 

Koala scratches - 22 July 2017 low res

Koala scratches

 

Just before the Team arrived I spotted a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus checking out a tree hollow as a potential nest sight.

International students are always interested in our wildlife and they loved the bright coloured Rainbows. Rainbow Lorikeets are thought to mate for life (like most parrots) pairs preen and nibble each other during rest periods.

 

I was also able to point out a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita high in the top branches of a eucalypt. It was high up but hard to miss because of its loud screech.

We also looked at Koala scratches on a Queensland Blue Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis.

 

 

 

Lantana Busters at work - 22 July 2017 low res

Lantana Buster Team

 

 

Lantana Buster - 22 July 2017 low res

Weeding is fun

 

 

We then split into two groups:

  • Sienna leading the Lantana Busters
  • I went with the Log Team.

The Lantana Busters worked on clearing the invasive Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses by rolling it up into swales across the slope retain water and reduce erosion by slowing water flow.

Pulling weeds may not sound exciting but there are always lots of smiles.

Hand saw team - 22 July 2017 low res

We can use a hand saw!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Griffith Mates always love to learn new skills, like using a hand saw …

Ochna buster - 22 July 2017 low res

Look at me! I pulled this out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and pulling deep rooted Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata with the specialist TreePopper bushcare weeding tool.

The Treepopper allows almost anyone to pull difficult weeds by clamping jaws around the trunk then using the leverage of the long handle to slowly pull the deep roots without breaking.

 

Burtons Legless Lizard (Lialis burtonis) - 22 July 2017 cropped

Burtons Legless Lizard Lialis burtonis

 

 

 

 

 

Even finding what she thought was a snake did not spook one of the Lantana Busters. Everyone gathered around, even the log moving team, to inspect what Sienna identified as a Legless Lizard. The lizard was very cooperative and hardly moved while dozens of photos recorded our unusual wildlife.

 

 

How do we move that - 22 July 2017 low res

Mmm … a bit heavy for one of us to lift

The Log Team were also learning new skills.

Brains over brawn - 22 July 2017

Cross beams allow a team lift

This team are all from China and studying microbiology at Griffith University. So they loved the challenge of learning the power of applying more brains and less brawn. None of the team had used ropes before. However, they caught on fast, using a branch as a lever lift the log to get the rope underneath before learning to tie a knot that would not slip.

 

Brains win over brawn. Using two hardwood cross beams a log too heavy for one person can be carried by a team of six. Still hard work and slow going but achievable.

Team Success - 22 July 2017 low res

Team success!

 

 

 

 

The log is in place across the slope and nestled into the mulch so it will not move.

And they were very proud of themselves.

Well done team!

We finished up with a short guided walk inspecting the 2016, 2015 and 2014 National Tree Day planting and explaining the role of nest boxes providing shelter for Squirrel Gliders, Rainbow Lorikeets and Kookaburras.

 

 

 

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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Team 1 July 2017

Griffith Mates Team

By: Michael Fox

Fifteen happy laughing Griffith Mates joined me on Saturday morning to prepare the site for the 2017 National Tree Day.

See Alan Moore’s “We love Bushcare!” photo series. 

The team members were so interested in everything, from the fruiting Thread-moss Orthodontium lineare to a Huntsman spider on an old pipe, that I thought they must all be environment students. However, they were

Thread-moss - Orthodontium lineare - 1 July 2017

Thread-moss Orthodontium lineare

actually studying everything from business to one special person doing her second Phd in linguistics! They just all love being out in the bush doing something useful.

 

 

 

Most Australians would not be keen on getting up close and personal with a Huntsman spider. Griffith Mates students come from all over the globe … Zimbabwe, Malaysia, China, Japan, etc. and they are fascinated all Australian animals.

 

 

Common Crow caterpillar - 1 July 2017

Common Crow Euploea core

I showed the team a Common Crow Euploea core butterfly caterpillar with its fascinating black curls. The caterpillar was feeding on a Parsonsia vine and I explained that butterfly caterpillars will only feed on a limited number of plant species. If we maintain and increase the diversity of native plants in bushland and in our backyards we can bring butterflies back to our urban habitat.

 

The next find was very strange hairy fungi with a colloid shape with hollow in the middle: Hairy Trumpet – Panus fasciatus. A new species to add to our Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve: over thirty fungi species found in the Reserve so far.

Hairy Trumpet 1 July 2017

Hairy Trumpet – Panus fasciatus

 

Plant signs

Installing interpretative signs

There was also work to do. Two teams went hunting for examples Tape Vine Stephania japonica and Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea and install interpretative signs to show Tree Day volunteers some of the plants that feed our native animals.

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Glass removal 1 July 2017

Site safety – removing broken glass

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Preparation also includes maximising site safety by removing broken glass. Not exciting work but very important.

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Visit Facebook to see Alan Moore’s “We love Bushcare!” photo series that captures the mood of joy and pride of our Griffith Mates student partners preparing for. 2017 National Tree Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Southside Environment Award

(l-r) Michael and Alan

By: Michael Fox

 

Alan Moore and I have been honoured with the Southside Environment Award at the Southside Queensland Day Awards last Saturday. The Awards were hosted by Ian Walker MP and Cr Steven Huang with bursary and catering support from the Southside Sport & Community Club.

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Alan - 7 Aug 11

Alan sharing his passion

 

The award is in recognition of our work with Mt Gravatt Environment Group and in particular Alan’s leadership of our annual Photography Workshop. The award came with a cheque for $100 to support our work in restoration of the special habitat of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

The Photography Workshops started with the 2011 Environment and Photography Workshop. The event was sponsored by a BCC Environmental Grant. In the morning Field Botanist – Ann Moran introduced participants to the diversity of our local flora. Then after lunch Alan took over to teach participants to capture the elusive feeling of “being in the bush” as a photograph to put on their wall at home.

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.The Photography Workshops have an important educational role in helping participants value the environment more as they see the bush through new eyes and share their experience with others.

A selection of participants’ photographs are used for the popular annual Photo Calendar. The calendar is sold out every year and provides valuable funds for the purchase of equipment like the infrared wildlife camera used to monitor the Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis families living in the Fox Gully Bushcare nest-boxes.

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See Alan’s work at:

www.freelargephotos.com

Click on The Photographers then scroll down

find Alan Moore and Click

Contact Alan: editoramcj@gmail.com