(l-r) Michael Fox, Susan Jones, Hon Vicky Darling MP, Hon Phil Reeves MP

Wednesday 15th, Sue Jones and I joined Hon Vicky Darling MP, Minister for Environment and local member Hon Phil Reeves MP, Minister for Child Safety and Sport at Mt Gravatt Lookout to officially present the independent environmental report: Mimosa Creek Precinct – Flora, Fauna and Fauna Corridor AssessmentBiodiversity Assessment & Management Pty Ltd – Nov 2011.

Like many visitors Minister Darling was pleasantly surprised by Mt Gravatt Lookout,  the view over the CBD with the ranges beyond, Echidna Magic Cafe and picnic area all within a unique habitat which is home to Koalas, Echidnas and forty five butterfly species. With two hundred and sixty-three native plant species this unique 66 hectares has 10% of the species diversity of the whole 22.6 million hectares of Great Britain.

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus - Photographer Alan Moore

Delivering this report is another step in a process that started in July 1893 when, in response to community action, Mt Gravatt was declared an environmental reserve. Prior to that Mt Gravatt and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve.

In 2012 the problems are different but whole of community action is more vital than ever as we work to build long term security for this extraordinarily diverse habitat by engaging private property owners, community groups, university and school as well as local and state government departments in a collaborative effort to restore vital wildlife corridors. Therefore Mt Gravatt Environment Group initiated this report as an independent ecological assessment of the areas of Mt Gravatt Reserve and Roly Chapman Reserve covered by our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan, including potential wildlife corridors links. The report was half-funded by an $8,000  State Government grant which was matched by in-kind support from researchers  Biodiversity Assessment & Management Pty Ltd.

Key findings

Fauna and Flora Habitat Values

  • Essential habitat for Koalas within Roly Chapman Reserve can be preserved and expanded create wildlife corridors through Vegetation Communities 9 and 6:
    • Endangered habitat -Vvegetation Community 7 (pink); and
    • Of Concern habitat – Vegetation Community 8 (orange).
  • Forty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species recorded during field survey – two are considered species of conservation significance:
    • Koala – Phascolarctos cinereus
    • Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus
  • Nine species of Endangered or Vulnerable plants

    Topknot Pidgeon Lopholaimus antarcticus

    can potentially be restored by habitat restoration allowing natural regeneration.

  • Essential habitat for Tusked Frog Adelotus brevis – bushland to west of and including Fox Gully
  • Three species of mosquito eating micro-bats identified during field research:
    • o   Gould’s Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii
    • o   White-striped Freetail Bat Tadarida australis
    • Eastern Bentwing Bat Miniopterus oceanensis.

Recommendations – Movement Corridors

  • Ground fauna, particularly mammals, have suffered series declines.
  • Corridor A – greatest potential
    • 25 metre wide corridor connecting old farmland with Mimosa Creek across Klumpp Road
    • Significant increases in useable habitat possible:
      • 9 hectare addition with revegetation of farmland
      • 4 hectare addition with revegetation of grassed and weed-infested area along Mimosa Creek – Vegetation Community 6
  • Extensive revegetation of farmland and restoration of grassed and weed-infested
  • Corridor B – narrow potential corridor connecting Fox Gully with Mimosa Creek
  • Corridor C – revegetation programs to complement existing vegetation

Report in Action

  • Findings used in submission for purchase of old farm as part of BCC Bushland Acquisition program
  • Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Planupdated to provide a masterplan for restoration and reconnection of Mt Gravatt and Roly Chapman Reserve
    • 18 property owners committed to restoration of Fox and Firefly Gully wildlife corridors
    • $8,000 contributed to corridor restoration by local residents
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Echidna - Photo Bill Semple


Phil Reeves
, State Member for Mansfield, has now confirmed funding for our key research project: Flora and Fauna Assessment – Management Issue Identification and Fauna Movement Solutions.

This research,  to be conducted by respected professionals at Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd, is a key part of our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan. The southern face of Mt Gravatt, adjoining Klumpp Road, includes three strategic wildlife corridors which have the potential to link Mt Gravatt Reserve with Mimosa/Bulimba Creek and Toohey Forest habitats.

Imperial Hairstreak - Photo Sue Jones

Environmental restoration and long-term protection of our mountain habitat will strengthen existing populations of Koalas, Echidnas, Gliders and a wide diversity of birds and butterflies. A unique bushland experience right in our suburbs and only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is developing long term strategic plans for restoration and protection of Mt Gravatt Reserve through consolidation of existing habitat parcels and creation of wildlife links between habitat parcels. Queensland Government funding for this research will complement the strong community commitment represented by over 4,000 hours of volunteer labour and commitment of sixteen private property owners to restoration of their land in the Fox Gully and Firefly Gully wildlife corridors.

(l-r) Hon Kate Jones, Helen Schwencke, Michael Fox, Hon Phil Reeves

On behalf of our Mountain community, I thank Phil Reeves and his electoral office team for their ongoing support and encouragement. I also thank the Hon Kate Jones, Member for Ashgrove, who in her role as Minister for Environment and Resource Management visited Mt Gravatt Outlook then approved our research funding. In her letter, Kate acknowledged “The strong commitment and efforts of the community group for restoring, strengthening and linking Mimosa Creek, Roly Chapman Reserve and Mt Gravatt Reserve.”

We can all be proud of the strong community we are building with the support of our government representatives.  Reading Mt Gravatt Then and Now, Mt Gravatt Historical Society, tells us that this strong community spirit has a long history with the Queensland Premier acknowledging the community commitment in July 1893 when announcing the establishment of Mt Gravatt as an environmental reserve.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group has joined Fox Gully Bushcare as a finalist in the 2011 Keep Australia BeautifulSpotless Suburbs Award.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group coordinates four Bushcare groups:

  • Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare – Sue Jones
  • Rover Street Bushcare – Brett Dugdale
  • Fox Gully Bushcare – Michael Fox
  • Roly Chapman Reserve Bushcare – currently no team leader

We appreciate Cr Adams’ support in nomination of of Mt Gravatt Environment Group and we are proud to represent our community by reaching the finals of the Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs competition.

Mycena lampadis Luminous Mushroom

Fireflies now glow-in-the-dark mushrooms!

 

Same mushroom under torch light

Carol, who sent the firefly photos, called me late the other night inviting me to see the glow-in-the-dark mushrooms in their gully. Extraordinary, spooky and a very very special experience: walking thought the dark with the only light these amazing fungi.

Seeing these luminous mushrooms during the day they look like just another delicate white fungi.

The Springbrook Research Centre has information on bioluminescence.

The Mountain continues to surprise and delight. Listen to my interview with Kelly Higgins-Devine: 612ABC Drive.

See more of our amazing mushrooms: read my article on Forest Fungi.

In February, Mt Gravatt Environment Group proposed an alternative approach to tree clearing on the mountain: Restoring Unique Scenic Outlook Below is a copy of the Letters to Editor section of Southern Star – June 9, 2010. Click on image to enlarge for reading.

MEG is already working closely with BCC Habitat Brisbane on restoration of four Mt Gravatt bushcare sites and has expressed interest in restoration of the Mt Gravatt Outlook. However, as a volunteer organisation with limited resources our activities are critically dependent on careful planning and co-ordination with other Mountain stakeholders: allows elimination of rework and other unnecessary work. While we provided detailed comment on the 2008 Draft Land Management Plan, we have not yet received a copy of the Interim Land Management Plan which we understand is currently being used to support decisions such as tree clearing on the summit.

Our Mt Gravatt Outlook has featured on ABC Breakfast with Spencer Howson this morning.

Please have a listen and post your thoughts on this issue.

My comment on the MEG “the environmentalists” Outlook on this issue is below:

Mt Gravatt Environment Group (MEG) is working with BCC Habitat Brisbane, First Contact, Mt Gravatt District Historical Society, Cr Krista Adams and other local stakeholders to plan the restoration of Mt Gravatt Outlook to maximise the experience for visitors.

The focus for MEG is engaging visitors, both local and tourists, with a powerful environmental, cultural/historical experience through development of the distant city and river vistas while experincing the colours and scents of our local wildflowers, calls of King Parrots, the flash of colour as Imperial Hairstreaks cluster in the Acacias and the buzz of discovering a Koala asleep in a Tallowwood.

Our research of local plants and wildlife – Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve by Sue Jones & Michael Fox, combined with our bush restoration experience allows us to see huge potential in thoughtful development of the Scenic Outlook.

For detailed information on our environmental view of maximising the community and tourist experience of Mt Gravatt Outlook go to our blog post –

https://megoutlook.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/restoring-unique-scenic-outlook/

Michael Fox
Fox Gully Bushcare – http://www.foxgully.wordpress.com
Mt Gravatt Environment Group – http://www.megoutlook.wordpress.com

Posted by: Michael Fox17 March 2010 at 09:07 AM

Echidna Magic Kiosk opended for MEG’s Clean Up Australia on Sunday … thank you to the First Contact team.

Trish Williams was obviously very proud as she told the planned opening times for Echidna Magic:

Kiosk

  • opens today – Monday 8th
  • opening times – 9am to 7pm Monday to Sunday

Restaurant

  • planned opening Monday 15th
  • opening times – 9am to 9pm Monday to Sunday

Personally I’m planning Sunday breakfast on the deck. Good food, strong coffee and a view to die for.

Congratulations and best wishes to Trish and her team.

We in MEG look forward to building a strong partnership: sharing our environmental knowledge and experiencing indigenous culture and history, as we recreate Mt Gravatt as one of Brisbane’s iconic community and tourist attractions.

Mike Fox