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Living on the edge of Mt Gravatt Reserve we often have butterflies visiting our yard. Today I videoed this Cabbage White Pieris rapae feeding on the Thyme flowers in our rose garden.

Michael Braby in Butterflies of Australia describes this erratic flight and feeding behaviour. This butterfly is using his proboscis or haustellum, a hollow straw-like tongue, to feed on nectar. The proposcis in normally kept rolled and extended for feeding.

Southside Community News - December 2011

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Our Pollinator Link initiative, described in my Southside News article, aims to bring more butterflies to suburban backyards.

If you have citrus trees you may find the leaves being eaten by the caterpillars of Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus butterflies.

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In Mt Gravatt Reserve the caterpillars of these spectacular butterflies feed on Crow’s Ash Flindersia australis. 

However if you can be put up with a few chewed leaves on your fruit trees these “bird-dropping” caterpillars

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which builds this delicate chrysalis suspended from a branch

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emerging as this spectacular Orchard Swallowtail butterfly we found in the garden this week.

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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.

Listen to my interview with Kelly Higgins-Devine: 612ABC Drive.

See our own local Glow-in-the-dark Mushrooms.

The visit by BOIC (Butterflies & Other Invertebrates Club) reported in our local Southside Community News.

Correction and apology: BOIC President’s name was incorrect. My mistake: I provided the wrong name to the journalist.

Ross Kendall of Butterfly Encounters is currently BOIC President.

Join Mt Gravatt Environment Group (MEG) for Clean Up Australia Day 2011 and help clean up the habitat of some of our special animals.

Sunday 6th March 2011,  8 – 10 am.  Meet at the Echidna Magic Cafe on the summit.

Access via Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive (UBD 201:B2).

Click to Register for Summit Cleanup.

Mt Gravatt Reserve is home to koalas, echidnas, fireflies and forty-five species of butterflies.

Clean Up Australia Day is an opportunity to experience this unique bushland and improve the habitat for our wildlife.

Keep an eye out for the beautiful Blue Tiger butterflies – Tirumala hamata visiting the mountain at the moment. Note the tiger like spots on the head.

When I could not identify any caterpillar (larval) food plants in the Reserve for these butterflies I contacted Dr Carla Catterall who kindly shared her extensive knowledge. It turns our Tigers are tourists just visiting Brisbane on holidays.

Dr Catterall advises that the Tiger Blue is a migratory species – so to understand why we are seeing them we need to search for info about its migratory habits rather than its food plants.

Because of these large-scale coordinated movements by many individuals at once (which are poorly understood), this species appears and disappears in large numbers from time to time (and apparently there are a lot of them in the Brisbane region at present).  It is also known to migrate over water (for example, I [Carla Catterall] have seen them flying across the ocean between Gladstone and Heron Island).

The larvae would have hatched, fed and pupated somewhere else, probably a long way away from Toohey Forest (tens to hundreds of km).

Thank you Dr Catterall.

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.