By: Michael Fox

 

Hosts for our 2019 Australia Day Street Party Dominika and Rafal bring a touch of European culture to our Mountain community. Rafal tells me, the opportunity to live with Koalas and all the other wildlife at their backdoor, is the reason they purchased their property.

2019 australia day

How much do you know about Australia? (Click to expand)

 

Trivia Master, Rose O’Brien shared her knowledge and passion for everything Australian. Everyone was heads down sharing their knowledge to win the Australia Day Trivia Quiz. Dave winner for second year in a row was closely followed by Jenny. Test your knowledge. Answers: scroll to bottom.

 

2019 aust day story

Building community

The amazing diversity of flora and fauna within Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve was matched by the diversity community members from Arafua, O’Grady, other local streets. Every age group and at least six different countries of origin were represented among this happy group getting know their neighbours.

Social researcher Hugh Mackay tells us: “… only one-third of Australians say they trust their neighbours.” Hugh Mackay: the state of the nation starts in your street Mackay says that this does not mean that “… 65% of neighbours are untrustworthy – what it must mean is that most people in our society don’t know their neighbours well enough to have learnt to trust them.” It is a pleasure to live in a community where people make the effort to build trust and make a stronger Australia.

Like Alan’s photography? Watch for registration post or email me to book a place in our Annual Photography Workshop on May 19. Find examples of Alan’s photography at Free Large Photos.

If you want to study up for the next Australia Day Trivia visit Rose’s blog Bush, Beaches and Being Alive: Queensland as I See It where she shares amazing stories from remote Burketown to Brisbane Walks.

Australia Day Trivia Quiz: Answers

koala - fox gully - jason tash - 15 dec 2018

It’s tough being a mum at Christmas.

By: Michael Fox

Thanks to our Koala spotters I have more photos of our cute neighbours to share.

Jason and Tash are always happy when they have Koalas visiting their Fox Gully property.

So they were very pleased when this poor long suffering mum and her joey posed for their American visitors.

 

koalas - firefly gully - 29 dec 2019 - three in one

Three for one in Firefly Gully

 

 

 

 

Toni was really proud when she photographed  three Koalas in one tree in Firefly Gully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

koala - outlook - 5 jan 2019

 

 

Thanks to Michelle for this photo of a Koala posing for visitors at Mt Gravatt Lookout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

koala - outlook drive2 - 5 jan 2019

 

 

On the way back down the mountain Michaelle spotted another Koala.

Not a bad start to 2019.

 

Dogs are allowed in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve but please keep them on a leash as Koalas are currently breeding.

 

 

Koala & Joey - Fox Gully 3 - 4 Jan 2014 close

Please slow down at night … Koala Mum and Joey – Fox Gully Bushcare

By: Michael Fox

15 September 2015 Breaking news:

Koala Superman to the rescue.

Local resident David Kloske is now being called the Koala Superman by family and friends after his dramatic rescue of a young Koala trying to cross busy Klumpp Road on last night.

“Poor little guy was wandering across the road and seemed very lost and confused and kept stopping and turning back etc. So I blocked the traffic for a bit with hazard while I scared it off the road onto the pool side [footpath]. Then I parked my car and ushered the little fellow down the bike path and back into the trees.” David Kloske

Koala breeding season runs from spring to mid-summer. So please be careful on our local roads at night.

Found a sick or injured Koala?

Call RSPCA Rescue Hotline Phone: 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

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!

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Mt Gravatt Campus - rail - 22 July 2015

Just hanging out. Don’t worry about me.

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

By: Michael Foximg272

Aldi have bought back their excellent, and at $129 excellent value, Maginon wildlife cameras. If you want one be quick because they will sell out fast.

We have been using two of an older version of these cameras for a couple of years now with excellent results. This new one is of course better with higher resolution video and sound recording. Sound recording would be great at the moment when we are capturing video of the very shy Noisy Pitta living in Firefly Gully. Marshal can hear its call but our camera does not handle sound.

The only issue we have found with these cameras is the intensity of the infrared leds used for video. I have fixed this with masking tape covering two thirds of the leds to reduce the intensity and make the camera less noticeable to our Squirrel Gliders.

See some samples:

Noisy Pitta – day time in colour

Koala at night

Squirrel Gliders at night

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.

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Len Kann introducing Australian native bees

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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.

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Afternoon tea

Bush food – punkin scones, jam and crea

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

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Sign

BCC Habitat Brisbane interpretative sign

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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.

 

Echidna - front - Demmers - 24 June 2013

Echidna – Tachyglossus aculeatus

By: Michael Fox

“My wife says this Echidna was near our house in Mt Gravatt this morning. I am very jealous!! Apparently it bumbled around for ages.” Pieter emailed me today with these amazing photos.

I am jealous as well. I am yet to see an Echidna in the Reserve even though I have walked every track and spent hundreds of hours in bushcare and taking photos.

Early mornings and late afternoon is the time to look for Echidnas as they tend to avoid the hotter times of day.

 

Echidna - Demmers - 24 June 2013

Termite exterminator at work

If you spot an Echidna you can report the sighting to Wildlife Queensland’s Echidna Watch program which is gathering information on the distribution and abundance of Echidnas.

These unique animals are not just another interesting native animal they are are also valuable urban pest controllers protecting our homes by eating termites as well as ants and, apparently, dirt.

Restoration work at our Bushcare sites is improving habitat. However all mountain neighbours can help by not dumping garden waste/lawn clippings in the bushland and not removing fallen timber for firewood.

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Click on image to enlarge for reading

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The 2011 report Mimosa Creek Precinct – Flora, Fauna and Fauna Corridor Assessment,  by Biodiversity Assessment & Management Pty Ltd, identified a lack of fallen timber as a key weakness in the mountain habitat. Fallen logs create ideal food sources for Echidnas as they attract termites and ants. These logs also provide protection as Echidnas avoid extremes in temperature by sheltering in hollow logs, rock crevices and vegetation.

Local Council Ranger, Craig Hardie, has recently distributed letters to properties adjoining the Reserve to highlight the importance of not removing vegetation including fallen logs.

We are lucky to have such a unique habitat right in at our backdoor. I often have people ask amazed: “Koalas are just roaming free?” Therefore, as a community, we have a responsibility to protect this valuable asset by:

  • not dumping rubbish or garden waste; and
  • keeping dog’s on leash within the Reserve.

Like Koalas, the main threats to Echidnas are cars and dogs. If you are walking in the Reserve please keep your dog on a leash.

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Garrett with Coppa in Wildlife Ambulance

By: Michael Fox

Last month I joined Wildlife Ambulance officers, Garrett Smits and Vicki Pender, to return Coppa the Lucky Koala back to bushland adjoining Bulimba Creek at Mansfield. This is the third time Coppa has been taken to the Moggill Koala Hospital after being hit by a car on Creek Road.

Injured Koalas taken to the Moggill Koala Hospital are all given a name and micro-chipped before being released to bushland as close as possible to where they are found.

Coppa back in the trees - 10 Apr 2013

Southern Star – 10 April 2013

Coppa is a 5.5 year old male in good health … and very lucky.

  • 18/12/2011 – hit by car on Creek Road – course of antibiotics and observation for 10 days released north of Creek Road
  • 16/8/2012 – hit by car on Creek Road – bruising – obs for 3 days – released north of Creek Road
  • 19/3/2013 – hit by car on Creek Road – released yesterday bushland at end of Dividend Street Mansfield (south of Creek Road)

Vicki and Garrett are obviously proud of their Wildlife Ambulance work and particularly fond of this lucky Koala they have now rescued three times.

It was a pleasure to see a Koala return from hospital back to the wild. Koalas are breeding successful again in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and bushland along Bulimba Creek. However, city drivers are not used to having to slow down for a Koala crossing the road. Breeding season from September to March is the time when Koalas are most likely to be crossing roads.

Coppa was hit in the same area each time … just within the 70km zone as you come down the hill from Carindale towards the Bunnings corner. Please be careful and report injured Koalas to 1300 WILDLIFE.

By: Michael Fox

Koala and Joey - Fox Gully wildlife corridor

Koala and Joey – Fox Gully wildlife corridor

Just this week the Southern Star reported that Koalas are fighting back and printed our map of sightings in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

Then on Friday night Matt Hill heard a scratching noise in the trees behind his deck. Thinking it was probably a possum he investigated with with torch picking up the glint of four eyes in the trees. He was delighted to find a Koala mum with her Joey comfortably nestled in her arms while she munched on leaves.

Koala sightings Fox Gully wildlife corridor

Koala sightings Fox Gully wildlife corridor

Matt and his family have been active supporters of our Fox Gully Bushcare restoration work and has been controlling weed trees, like Camphor Laurel, on his gully property. So, in December, he was proud to show me what looked like Koala scratches on a tree restored to the habitat only five years ago. This was an exciting find and now with this weeks photos we have confirmation that Koalas are not only active in the wildlife corridor but also breeding successfully. We also received another report this week of a Koala sighted high in a tree beside the footpath to the Griffith University Bus Station.

Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus pereginus

Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus pereginus

Restoration of this key wildlife corridor is now supported by seventeen property owners whose backyards include the gully and community members committed to restoring habitat for Koalas, birds, butterflies, frogs and native bees.

Restoration of the of the wildlife corridor is having a positive effect as shown by the number of Koala sighting as well as increasing other wildlife. At the top end of the gully, Roger and Margaret have a family of Ringtail Possums Pseudocheirus pereginus living in the top of staghorn ferns. Just before Christmas a mother with two babies on her back was sighted and Friday Margaret called to say the father had been disturbed from his staghorn nest when Roger was hosing.

Note his spiky hair and spiky attitude as he cleans water off his coat.

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Common Ringtail Possum – not that common

Please be patient with these cute creatures if they eat some of your fruit. During the 1950’s Common Ringtail Possum populations severely declined in numbers. Currently populations seem to have recovered but they are at risk of attack by cats loose at night.

Unlike Brushtail Possums Trichosurus vulpecula, Ringtails tend to avoid house ceilings, preferring to nest in trees or the tops of staghorns, so they are not considered pests in suburban areas.
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Reference: Animal Diversity Web (ADW) is an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology at the University of Michigan

By: Michael Fox

Southern Star - January 16, 2013

Southern Star – January 16, 2013

We host international students at times and today we received a note from the Japanese student who will be living with us during February. One thing she was very clear about: “I want to see a Koala.” With latest sighting, reported this week, of a Koala in a tree beside the footpath leading to Griffith University Bus Station there is an increasing chance that she will see a Koala on the way to university.

It really is fun to watch international students/visitors when they see a Koala just sitting (usually sleeping) in a tree or an Echidna walking across the track … and not a zoo keeper in sight. The most amazing experience though was watching Jian, an international student from Shanghai, when he came face to face with a Koala right on our back deck.

Southern Star - January 16, 2013

Southern Star – January 16, 2013

You can get involved with bush restoration,  reporting any Koala sightings on Koala Tracker or simply slowing down and reporting sick or injured wildlife to 1300 ANIMAL 24/7.

The Southern Star interview with Adrian Schrinner and Natalie Forrest is very valuable in building community awareness. However, it is not only out at Gumdale and Chandler that we need to be increasing careful if we want to have Koalas living in our backyards. We have had one Koala killed on Klumpp Road and another rescued on Creek Road after a car strike.

Read Harry Brampton’s Southern Star story online or forward the link to your overseas friends.