Tuesday Bushcare Team planting Basket Ferns

By: Michael Fox

Restoring the Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve habitat is one of the most satisfying projects I have ever undertaken. I realised this today when our newest volunteer, Eleanor, PHD student at Western Sydney University, commented on our National Tree Day planting.

Eloise helping me glue fern to log.



Tuesday last week the team ‘planted” eighty Basket Ferns Drynaria rigidula. When I say “planted” we actually super-glued many of the ferns to rocks and logs. Basket Ferns naturally grow on top of rocks and logs so we decided experiment. The most successful approach seems to be wrapping the fern with woven coir matting with extra extra coir to improve water retention while the fern gets its roots into the rock or log. I always thought of ferns as plants you find in moist gullies not on top of mountains and particularly not on top of rocks.

Gorse bitter pea Daviesia ulicifolia

National Tree Day in a time of COVID has been challenging so it has been amazing to see the plants thriving with 95% survival rate, some flowering already and new growth on most. The Gorse Bitter Pea Daviesia ulicifolia, Hardenbergia violacea Native Sarsaparilla and Goodenia rotundifolia Star Goodenia are all flowering already.




Plant Local to Feed Locals

The Poison Peach Trema tomentosa has new growth and is already Feeding Locals. This fast growing tree is an excellent pioneer plant for habitat restoration as it also food for caterpillars of Speckled Line-blue Catopyrops florinda butterflies, Splendid Ghost Moth Aenetus splendens and fruit eating birds like Australian King Parrot Alisterus scapularis and Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus

We have already found Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia and Brown White Banded Noctuid Donuca castalia on site. Today we found a Burton’s Legless Lizard Lialis burtonis.

By: Michael Fox

A friend asked me today about Sunday’s CleanUp. We were driving up the Mountain when I explained we only collected ten bags of rubbish. Bec asked if we had less volunteers. I was proud to be able to explain that there is just less rubbish to pick-up because Council now locks the road access gate at night and despite a dramatic increase in the number of walkers and visitors to The Love Well Project (cafe at Summit) there is less rubbish. I believe people are valuing Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve as a special place to be cared for like a National Park.

As I started to write this post I looked back at past CleanUp’s for comparison:

As Heather noted there was very little recycling because, thanks to the Queensland Container Refund Scheme, there were few drink cans and bottles to pick up.

A strong Council / community partnership is really making a difference to this unique parcel of Australian bush just 10km from the CBD.

Heather Woods and the Bush Monsters were here again to organise our annual CleanUp.

Heather’s Bush Monsters were representing Guides (Eloise) and Scouts (Lincoln) this year.

Lydia Lichen Moth - Asura lydia - 3 March 2019

Lydia Lichen Moth

Lincoln and Eloise are regular helpers with our Mountain restoration work and they are budding Citizen Scientists even making friends with a Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia

Note the distinctive comb-like antennae. This feathery structure, made up of fine hairs is a moth equivalent our nose. The hairs are smell receptors that detect molecules arriving from miles away.

You can also see the moth’s proboscis unrolled searching for moisture on Eloise’s glove.

Ross Vasta team - 3 March 2019

Vasta Team

It is always great to welcome our political representatives to community events.

The Ross Vasta team (LNP) worked on the Summit CleanUp.

Jo Briskey team - 3 March 2019

Briskey Team

The Jo Briskey team (Labour) including our local state member Corrine McMillan started at Gertrude Petty Place and worked up the road.

       Thank you to Heather, the Bush Monsters and all the other community members who care about our mountain Reserve. 


By: Michael Fox


Griffith Mates Sophie, Jocelyn and Ryan with Noel


Our Griffith Mates partners have again provided valuable for restoration of our Fox Gully Bushcare site. At the last event for 2016 we first checked what species can now be found in the Small Bird Habitat.

Griffith Mates participated in the 2015 National Tree Day planting of the Small Bird Habitat so it was great to be able to show the increase in species diversity in just one year.


Painted Pine Moth Orgyia australis caterpillar

The Small Bird Habitat is an initiative to create the specialised habitat our small forest birds like Variegated Fair Wrens Malurus lamberti. These small insect eating birds are valuable partners in controlling pests in our backyards. Building an effective habitat requires attracting a diverse range of insect species to provide food.

Finding several Painted Pine Moth Orgyia australis caterpillars on site is a good excellent start.




Lydia Lichen Moth Astura lydia

We inspected the Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterfly caterpillars on Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata. I explained that the caterpillars are protected by “Kropotkin” ants – Small Meat Ant Iridomyrmex sp.

We also found a Lydia Lichen Moth Asura lydia with its curious eyelash like antlers.



Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata


Other excellent signs of habitat building progress was finding seed on Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcataNative Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea and Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra which will provide food for seed eating birds.


Ochna Blitz


After inspecting the Small Bird Habitat progress we moved onto our Ochna Blitz. Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata is a deep rooted invasive garden plant with attractive red and green berries that are eaten by birds then spread into our bush habitat. The objective is to start breaking the weed cycle by collecting, bagging and dumping the seeds then poisoning the plant. Eradicating or at least reducing Ochna in the Reserve will take years but systematic clearing of smaller areas will progressively reduce the spread.

We look forward to partnering with Griffith Mates again in 2017.