By: Michael Fox

The team from B4C came today to refill our Tree Troff Koala drinkers so it was very exciting to find a Koala Mum and Joey in sitting on a branch above the drinker on Acacia Way.

There was also a Koala in the Queensland Blue Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis above the other Tree Troff at the junction of Federation and Geebung Tracks.

Koalas in Tallowwood Eucalyptus microcorys on Acacia Way

By: Michael Fox

How many Koalas are there in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve? I am often asked that question.

As part of our 2021 Koala Drinker Research Project and work by Peter Demmers we know there are at least thirteen individual Koalas in the Reserve. We now have a couple with excellent Koala spotting skills they share with other visitors by marking sightings with an arrow on the track.

If you see an arrow on the track, pause look around and say hi to our special locals.

By: Michael Fox

Artist: Chrys O’Hare
Phil checking installation of water trough.

When leaf moisture is not high enough, this can lead to dehydration and large-scale mortality events as koalas are forced to search the ground for alternative water sources, exposing them to additional threats such as cars and dogs. Conditions in which koalas will need to search for water are only expected to increase in frequency due to climate change. (Watkins, A, Schlagloth, R. and Santamaria, F. (2021) Qld Naturalist 59 (1-3))

Koalas and other wildlife living in urban Island Habitats like Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve are particularly vulnerable as access to water requires crossing busy roads and facing dogs in backyards.

The Tree Troff Koala drinkers have been developed by a Gunnedah farmer working with researchers from University of Sydney and WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.)

First version of Koala drinker



Last year I spent an interesting morning with farmer Robert Frend of Wildsip who showed me the evolution of the Tree Troff starting with the very first drinker that was simply strapped to the tree.



Early evolution of Koala drinker




Supported by research with wildlife cameras observing Koala behaviour the drinker evolved through many versions trialling solar powered pumps and different platforms to finally arrive at an innovative designed, engineer certified and professionally built water for wildlife solution.


Alan driving stakes to hold the Tree Troff in place.


Our 2020 Koala Drinker Research Project demonstrated the value of providing water for wildlife, for example, six thousand visits by birds in six months. WIRES generous gift of two Tree Troffs and support from Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) providing refill services means we are able to create a long term water for wildlife solution for our Reserve.


The first Tree Troff is installed in the Fox Gully Bushcare site at the junction of the Geebung and Federation Tracks. Bushcare team members Phil Girle and Alan Moore worked with me to assemble and erect the Tree Troff.


Seton Ball Valve Lockout Devices




The Tree Troff tank will be filled from ground level with high pressure pump which also allows the water trough to be flushed to clear leaves and mozzie larvae. Installation in a public space has required some modifications to reduce temptation to tamper. Seton Ball Valve Lockout Devices provide a simple way to lock the taps.

Cameras will be installed to monitor wildlife use to provide further evidence to support deployment of water for wildlife solutions in Brisbane parks and Bushcare sites.


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!







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.

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.






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.


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.



Click on image to enlarge for reading


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.