Mt Gravatt Campus - 22 July 2015

Mmm … almost there. Now to just get past this fence.

By: Michael Fox

They go looking for a good education.

An alert cleaner at Griffith Mt Gravatt Campus caught this intruder on camera. Outstanding wildlife photography!







Mt Gravatt Campus - rail - 22 July 2015

Just hanging out. Don’t worry about me.





Of course being a university qualified Koala he was climbing into the Education building.

Koala mapping - Mar 2015

First Koala sightings 2015

By: Michael Fox

2015 is off to a good start with six sightings of Koalas reported already, and, importantly, the sightings have been right around the Reserve.

Koala - Mt Gravatt Campus - 23 Feb 2015 - Michael McGeever

          Koala – Griffith Uni Mt Gravatt Campus                          Photo: Michael McGeever

The latest sighting was on Sunday while we were doing a guided walk for our Griffith Mates visitors. Pieter Demmers spotted the Koala high in a tree beside Acacia Way. Seeing this Koala in the bush was particularly special for our visitors from Germany, France and China.

Michael McGeever spotted another Koala, probably a male,  just at the entry to the Mt Gravatt Campus





Koala - Fox Gully - 27 Feb 2015

Young Koala Fox Gully


Then we were woken about 4am last week. A young Koala seemed to be calling its mother with the short squeal – almost a ‘yip’, they use to communicate. I was able to get a photo when is climbed an Acacia near the house.

In 2014 at least two Joeys (baby Koalas) were born in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. In 2015 we want to do more tracking of Koalas with the aim of identifying and tracking individuals to help us understand their movement patterns and how to reduce the number killed on the South-east Freeway.

So if you see a Koala, please take a photo – phone camera is ok, note the location and any comments eg. mother with joey or walking along the road.

Sightings can be reported to Koala Tracker and/or emailed to

Acacia Way entry

Acacia Way Track – Mt Gravatt Campus

By: Michael Fox

As part of National Tree Day celebrations, Laurie Deacon and I were privileged to lead a guided walk in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve for twenty-one Griffith University students and friends. We have partnered with Griffith Mates since 2012 to offer students the opportunity to give back to the tranquil bushland surrounding Griffith University.


Watershed - Bulimba & Norman Creek catchments .......... Acacia

Watershed – Bulimba & Norman Creek ………… Brisbane Fringed Wattle Acacia fimbriata

On track

Fishing line and bush food

Rain falling on Mt Gravatt flows into two different river catchments: Norman Creek catchment via Ekibin Creek and Bulimba Creek catchment via Mimosa Creek. Acacia Way follows the ridge line forming the watershed between the catchments.

Winter is flowering time for many of our wattles, like this beautiful fragment delicate Brisbane Fringed Wattle.

Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve has an amazing species diversity with two hundred and seventy-one native plant species identified, including Settlers Flax Gymnostachys anceps which was used by indigenous people to make fishing lines, and bush food Molucca Raspberry Rubus moluccanus.

Planting Team

Planting Koala trees

Luke tree

Laminated tags identify each planter


Arriving at Fox Gully Bushcare the team prepare to plant twenty Koala food trees including Small-fruited Grey Gum Eucalyptus propinqua, Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus racemosa and Qld Blue Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis.






Len Kann introducing Australian native bees


Len Kann introduced the team to our Australian native bees. Len keeps hives with the small black Stingless Native Bees Trigona carbonaria. He has also developed a deep knowledge of native solitary bees like our local Blue Banded Bees Amegilla cingulata and Teddy Bear Bees Amegilla bombiformis.


Afternoon tea

Bush food – punkin scones, jam and crea



With the work done time for the reward. Thanks to Margaret Medland for the delicious home made punkin scones, jam and cream!




BCC Habitat Brisbane interpretative sign



The walk back included a detour to the Summit where we inspected the new interpretative signs installed by BCC Habitat Brisbane team.

Thank you to our Griffith Mates visitors. We look forward to meeting again at a bushcare.



Kristen introduces Elsa to international visitors

By: Michael Fox

International students are an important group of potential volunteers for bush restoration work so Kristen and  Elsa the Koala joined us at the QIBT (Queensland Institute of Business Technology) OWeek Market.

Elsa, who normally lives at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, was a real hit with  students from as far away as Japan, China and Sri Lanka. Kristan also amazed students with the body of a three day old joey Koala. Just 30mm long the joey would have made an extraordinary journey to its mother pouch after birth. Unfortunately the mother was hit by a car shortly after and the joey was found in the mother’s pouch.


Elsa – Koala Phascolarctos cinereus

In south-east Queensland we are lucky to still have some significant Koala habitat with protected areas like Daisy Hill Koala Centre however development pressure is impacting. In Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and surrounding urban areas we are seeing a return of Koalas that, as recently as 1927, were hunted for their pelts. Nature is giving us a second chance with Koalas so  students engaged in restoration of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve will be making a valuable contribution to a unique Koala habitat just fifteen minutes from Brisbane CBD and right beside their university campus. Students are also invited to visit Daisy Hill Koala Centre – free entry.

Free Dog Behaviour Seminar – Reducing your dog’s impact on Wildlife

Daisy Hill Koala Centre – Sunday 30 March. Dogs off-leash are one of the three key threats to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Take the opportunity to learn about making your dog wildlife friendly.


Prof. Ian O’Connor with development team

By: Michael Fox

The invitation said business casual, however, it is a university …

… and these green leaves gathered around Vice Chancellor Prof. Ian O’Connor are justly proud to launch this year’s must have App – GrowsAtGriffith.

Primary and secondary teachers, kindergartens, bushcare group members, local government teams, libraries, anyone interested in Australian native plants should download this App today. It’s free but looks and works like a million dollars.


Discussing Slender Hyacinth Orchid photos with Mark and Catherine

Mt Gravatt Environment Group provided many of the 500 plus photos on this first release of this excellent tool. So I was proud to represent our group at this launch and finally meet the two key drivers of this project – Assoc Prof Catherine Pickering, Griffith School of Environment and post-graduate student Mark Ballantyne.





By: Michael Fox

(l-r) Marshal, Mirandha, Lin, Fred, John, Michael

How do you tempt university students into the bush to pull out weeds?

Answer: Put on food!

Seriously we were very pleased to welcome the Griffith Uni Bushcare Team to Fox Gully yesterday. Team leader Mirandha, Environmental Law, has been working with Susan Jones at our Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare site.

First order of the day was a sausage sizzle, a very new and Australian experience for Lin, Environmental Science, and Fred, Hotel Management. Marshal operated the BBQ while I show the team the Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus setting-up home in the Men’s Shed nest-box high in a Tallowwood.

Clearing Fishbone Fern

Time to get down to work!

We are joined by Kate Flink (yellow tub at bottom), BCC Habitat Brisbane, and continue clearing the invasive Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia in Zone 13. Clearing this garden escapee is a big job however as we clear the weed nature is coming behind us working 24/7 to restore native grasses like Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima and the seven native ferns that occur naturally in this gully.

Griffith Uni student volunteer

By: Susan Jones

“Shall we celebrate National Tree Day again this year, Sheamus?” I asked last year’s volunteer coordinator. “Of course!” was the prompt reply.  As it turned out, we celebrated twice!

On Wednesday  25 July, students and a science teacher from Mt Gravatt High School, together with a team of Griffith University students rallied to plant 100 native tubestock, specially chosen to provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees – and of course, our resident koalas!  What a great team!  In just over an hour all the plants were in the ground and it was time to protect them with plastic sleeves, supported by cane stakes.

It was great to welcome Griffith Uni students back to our site for this celebration, as they had spent many hours  tediously clearing the area of Creeping lantana Lantana montevidensis  last university semester.

Mt Gravatt SHS team planting

Brush-turkey looking for lunch

On Saturday 28 July, we had ready another 40 plants to be put in by volunteers who couldn’t join us on Wednesday.   When I arrived on site, I found a female Brush-turkey Alectura lathami checking out all the holes prepared for planting.  Her curiosity and anticipation of a free meal made me laugh.

We had …. volunteers of all ages turn up: a special thanks to the three grandparents who more than pulled their weight.

Our 2012 National Tree Day planting was a great success: “ thank you” to everyone involved.

Your generous contribution will enhance amenity  for community users and provide healthy habitat for wildlife in our 66 ha Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

Granparents restore Conservation Reserve for future generations

Granparents restore Mt Grvatt Conservation Reserve for future generations


Glorious morning to be in the bush


Mai enjoys her first Aussie bushcare experience

By: Susan Jones

Persistence pays off … for several weeks now, on Wednesday afternoons,  students from Griffith Uni have been helping Mt Gravatt Environment Group eradicate Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis from an area to be planted out on National Tree Day 2012.

Sheamus, Jonny & Mirandha do a sweep looking for Lantana regrowth

It has been a long and tedious job, but finally, the end is in sight!   What was once a thick weed mat is now clean and native grasses, lilies, lomandras and ferns  are reappearing of their own accord. The chemical action of Lantana species appears to surpress growth of native plants so removal allows natural regeneration of the plants indigenous to the mountain.

Group Leader, Jonny, has been the backbone of the GU student group, and we say a big thank you to him and all the students for the volunteer hours they are contributing to improve our bushland.

Sheamus, Tekee, Jonny, Mai & Mirandha enjoy a well-earned muffin break.

Well done everyone!

By Susan Jones

Tekee and Jonny

We are pleased to welcome back Griffith Uni students to our Wednesday afternoon working bees where they are providing such great support in our bushland restoration work.

We continue clearing Queensland Class 3 weed, Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis.  It has grown into thick ‘carpets’ through much of our local bushland, suffocating native vegetation as it takes over.  It reproduces by seed that are dispersed by birds and other animals as they eat the fleshy red/purple fruit or it can become established in bushland from dumped garden waste.  It spreads across the ground laterally, sometimes rooting at stem joints, forming a carpet smothering native plants.

Jonny, Shasha, Tekee, Sheamus, Susan and Maria-Dolores celebrate their efforts

Rather than poison these weed ‘carpets’ we are digging them out preserving the surviving native plants while allowing the native seed bank space to germinate and grow.  Later, this option will save a lot of effort replanting and watering.

Tekee took on a particularly thick infestation and, with Jonny’s help, was able to roll up the ‘carpet’ and move it into a heap, where it will break down into mulch.   Shasha and Maria-Dolores didn’t let the guys take all the credit though:  they created their own huge weed piles.

Great teamwork everyone … thanks!


Turembold coming to grips with Lantana

By Susan Jones

As usual, Sheamus arrived first with his sleeves rolled up to work.  Next on the job were a team of Griffith University national and international students: Mardol, Mirandha, Tumenbold, Jonny, Emilia and Jaime.  An added bonus was the arrival of Peter a newcomer to Brisbane.

Today’s  volunteers took on the tedious task of removing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis and everyone pulled their weight (and weeds) magnificently.

Huge compost pile of weeds - excellent work!

Emilia busied herself collecting and piling up the weeds as they were pulled. The end result was a  huge compost heap that will break down and eventually be spread as mulch.

Preparation of this area is now well underway for the second July ‘National Tree Day’ planting with volunteers from Mt Gravatt State High School.

Thanks to everyone who worked today – it was a great team effort!