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.

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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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Mulch filter along school fence

By: Michael Fox

 

Sunday 13th March was the first community working bee of the year. Despite the rain we decided to go for it and got our wet weather gear on. The light showers that came about every half hour were very light and kept us cool. So it proved a bonus.

Out tasks for the morning were to remove seed heads, chip away the weeds next to the school fence and cover them with a layer of mulch to suppress weed regrowth, filter out weed seeds and slow the large volume of water coming off the school oval.

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Zone 2 Mar (3) 2016

Delivering mulch

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BCC Habitat Brisbane delivered a large pile of forest mulch. So we took it in turns to fill barrow loads and dump them in a two metre strip along the fence. While we were working we spotted a few butterflies including the Common Crow and a Blue Tiger.

Zone 2 Mar (7) 2016

Morning tea and banana cake!

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While we were working we spotted a few butterflies including the Common Crow and a Blue Tiger. Our reward for an enjoyable morning’s work was some delicious banana cake courtesy of neighbours Carol and Trevor, who unfortunately couldn’t be there but sent the cake in their place!

(l-r) Cr Krista Adams, Sue Jones, Michael Fox, Cr Graham Quirk

Sue Jones, represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group in receiving the Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs Environmental Protection Award from Lord Mayor, Cr Graham Quirk. Sue acknowledged the work of our community volunteers, thanked Cr Krista Adams for our nomination and importantly thanked the Habitat Brisbane team who quiet work in the background is what allows bushcare groups like ours to achieve extraordinary outcomes for our communities.

Mt Gravatt was also recognised with the Partnership Award presented to Fox Gully Bushcare.

Judging criteria for the Environmental Protection Award are:

  • Sustainable or innovative projects that focus on environmental protection
  • Establishment or existence of local conservation or environmental groups

Environmental Protection Award

The Mt Gravatt Environment Group vision sees the mountain as the heart of a special community with strong links to Indigenous and European histories.  This ecological and cultural landmark just ten kilometres from Brisbane CBD is home to Echidnas, Koalas, Sugar and Squirrel Gliders, forty-five butterfly species as well as two hundred and fifty-four native plant species.

Environmental protection and restoration initiatives include community education about key threats to the habitat:

  • rubbish and garden waste dumping;
  • downhill mountain biking, trail bikes, unofficial tracks; and
  • feral and domestic animals.

Research initiatives include Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve – Sue Jones and Michael Fox – available as electronic version on CD.

Preparation of the new Summit Track Self-guided Walk brochure published with support of Cr Krista Adams. Available at Mt Gravatt Library.

Co-ordination of four local bushcare groups – 2011 Bushcare Callender:

  • Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare
  • Rover Street Bushcare
  • Fox Gully Bushcare
  • Roly Chapman Reserve Bushcare

Our BCC Habitat Brisbane team have been active upgrading the Federation Track which goes from Gertrude Petty Place via Federation Lookout onwards to the Summit.

You can also join from easement at 55 Granby Street.

The Track traverses some of the most beautiful  parts of the mountain passing spectacular Scribbly Gums Eucalyptus racemosa: koala food trees.

The characteristic scribble on the bark is created by lava of the Scribbly Gum moth. The moth lays its eggs in the bark. The lava hatches out, mines the bark in a zigzag pattern then emerges to form a grey ridged cocoon under bark at the base of the tree or in leaf litter. “A Guide to Australian Moths” Zborowski & Edwards.

The track crosses gullies populated with Coin-spot Treeferns Cyathea cooperi.

From the Granby Street sign the track climbs through the seam of quartz that bisects the mountain.

Not as pretty as the fern filled gully this part of the track presents excellent opportunities for some creative Ansel Adams style black & white photography: like this gnarled log surrounded by quartz.

Continue on to the Summit for a superb coffee at Echidna Magic.

Hope to meet you on the track soon.

Mike