Southside Community News - ISSUE 27 August 2011

Waking up to a Koala climbing into the house is special. Knowing that this is a sign of a strengthening Koala population in our special piece of suburban bushland gives me a real feeling of hope for the future.

Koalas are only one fauna species in a reserve where we have already identified forty-five butterfly species and two hundred and fifty-four native plant species, however, they are one of our iconic Australian animals.

Koalas will help us not only protect our special piece bushland they will also help change the way people think about the future. I write about birds, butterflies, Koalas and frogs because community members relate to these animals at a direct emotional level. They open their hearts and allow themselves to learn about the complex web of interrelationships that bring our mountain habitat alive with these special creatures.


Female with Joey - Sept 2009 - Sue Jones

We have been collecting flora and fauna data for some years and I have now started a wildlife sightings database to capture more accurate information on species, date/time and location.

This female and joey were photographed by Sue Jones on the northern slope of the mountain in 2009. We also have photographic evidence of Koalas near Gertrude Petty Place, Rover Street Bushcare and Fox Gully Bushcare. Photos and location details of Echidnas, Squirrel Gliders and frogs, as well as, some unusual bugs are all contribution to our knowledge of the Reserve.

The BAAM team will also use any data we collect for the Flora and Fauna Assessment project.

Please email any wildlife sighting details, species, date/time, location preferably with digital photos, to Infomation on dead wildlife is also important as it helps build up a picture of wildlife movements and potential dangers like vehicles and domestic dogs.


The Brisbane Spotless Suburbs judges inspected our Fox Gully Bushcare site and met with myself and Alan Moore (Squirrel Glider photo).

The judges were very impressed with not only the bush restoration work but also the quality of our planning, documentation, research and our community education program: Fox Gully Restoration Update, interperative signs and wildlife articles in Southside Community News.

Our community engagement: fourteen property owners committed to restoration of the gully wildlife corridor on their own properties, and use of social media Fox Gully blog -1,200 hits so far this month, Twitter and MapMyWalk.

The judges also shared their knowledge of native plants identifying the seedlings that have been popping up in our restored areas as Deep Yellow Wood Rhodosphaera rhodanthema. This beautiful dry rainforest tree occurs naturaly in the bush round Pine Mountain Road, however these are the first examples found in Mt Gravatt Reserve.

Thanks to our judges we have now identifed 255 native plant species on the Mountain.

This still leaves me with another puzzle.

What insect is rolling up the leaves of the mature trees with webbing?

Any ideas welcome.

Our Mt Gravatt Reserve is a special place full of surprises.

Like tonight when this Brushtail Possum visited. There is nothing quite like seeing some movement in trees and finding a cute Brushtail looking back at you.

Brushtail Possum - Trichosurus vulpecula

I photographed this Netted Mock-olive Notelaea ovata today in Zone 10. Small cream/yellow flowers are followed by small black olive like fruit.

This is special because I have had been watching this small shrub for a couple of years waiting for it to flower for an identification. With its addition to Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve we now have 76% of the plant species in the Reserve photographed.

BCC Habitat Brisbane have been helping wage war on the invasive Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis by removing the large trees. We have been removing up to twenty small Chinese Elms each week in our Bushcare sites.

Most Elms we find are very small and can simply be pulled up. I used the TreePopper to up-root this larger tree in Zone 10.

The TreePopper is one of the most useful bushcare tools provided by our Brisbane City Council sponsors.

Pulling woody weeds like Elms and Ochna up by the roots is definitely best practice.  I still had to cut and poison one larger Elm but up-rooting three out of four is a good start.

Planting Day – Sunday 31 October – 8am to 12noon

Please join us in the next stage of restoration – Zone 14 Stage 2 replanting.

Habitat created by our restoration work is already home to Noisy Minors and Imperial Hairstreak butterflies. Clearing weeds is also bringing Koalas back to the gully.

On Sunday 31, over 400 grasses, vines and trees indigenous to Mt Gravatt Reserve, will be planted in the second stage of Zone 14 restoration: near the water reservoir at the top of Azania Street.

Even if you only have half an hour come and put in your plant.

Noisy Minor Nest – Zone 7: Sept 2010

Where – access site via:

46 O’Grady Street, Upper Mt Gravatt

Wear protective footwear and sun protection. Morning tea, plants and equipment provided.

Information:      Mike Fox – 0408 769 404

Southside Community News – October 2010

Walking through the forest this morning I had the pleasure of seeing dozens of Small Dusky-blue butterflies.

About the size of a ten cent piece – 22mm these butterflies are real show-offs. Landing on a leaf they will slowly open their wings so you can see the dusky-blue top side, then slowly close and open again. Note the fine white fringe along the edge of the wing and the fancy striped antenna.

The Dusky-blues caterpillars depend Dodder Laurel – Cassytha pubescens, a delicate native vine common in Fox Gully. 

We now have thirty nine butterflies species identified in Mt Gravatt Reserve and twenty two have been photographed and included in our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve CD.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Have you seen these Dusky-blues in the bush or in your backyard?


If you see a branch on the footpath be careful. It might be a caterpillar.

Today Cindy, who is a Homestay student living with us, came home very excited because she have found a Case Moth caterpiller. She noticed a branch moving on the footpath and she thought it must be ants carrying some food back to their nest. So she stopped, crouched down to watch and found no ants. There was a head sticking out from the branch and the branch moved by itself. The branch must be something’s house.

Cindy wanted to take a picture but had no camera. So she decided that her lunch box would do to capture this living branch. The branch didn’t move all the way back home so Cindy thought the insect must have escaped.

We quickly identified the Case as a Common Leaf Case Moth – Hyalarcta hucbneri – by searching the excellent Brisbane Insects & Spiders site – This is an excellent site with hundreds of photos of our Brisbane insects.

Also know as a Leaf Bagworm the caterpillars live in a silken case to which they attach leaves or twigs. This caterpillar had been eating Acacia leaves and had used some half eaten leaves as part of its case.

This addition to our Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve is particularly special having been discovered by our Korean visitor who only a few months ago would never have dared pick up an insect on the footpath. Still not sure if the caterpillar was still inside we set it outside and waited. It was only a sort while before a head appeared and looked around before venturing futher out and starting to move across the table.

Knowing that it had been eating Acacia leaves I cut some young juicy Acacia Falcata leaves from our bushcare planting. This was a big success with the caterpillar chomping into the leaf straight away.

As soon as Cindy tried to move the leaf the caterpillar pulled back and clamped onto the leaf like it was hanging from a tree. It was not coming out in a hurry but it was also not going to let go of its meal.

Watch this facinating creature on video.