Many of us may be unaware of a vast network of threadlike mycelia, which connect species, landscapes and ecosystems. This network of threads connects and interacts with organisms within the soil creating a living matrix, which underpins and supports our terrestrial ecosystems. These threads are the bodies of fungi and they range in size from microfungi (microscopic) to macrofungi, which intermittently produce fruiting bodies known as sporocaps (Qld Herbarium, 2021).
Often, especially after rain, we can see an emergence of these mycelial fruiting bodies also known as mushrooms/toadstools. However, they take on many forms and if you look at the video above you can see some examples of various sporocaps from South East Queensland. There are many species of fungus yet to be discovered and described, and across the globe its believed that there are 3 million species of fungi (and only 150,000 have been identified)!
At times, you can see fungi in our backyards,...
Image: Downloading the data from a satellite tag of Green Turtle T40221. (Courtesy of DES)
Although there has been a great deal of research on all the turtle species little has been known about our local Green Turtles that visit Moreton Bay. That was until researcher and turtle expert, Col Limpus provided some in-depth data around one individual Green Turtle T40221, including nesting and foraging data. Thanks to GPS tracking and monitoring efforts from Col and his volunteers we can now give you an outline of T40221’s nesting and foraging activities over a period of last 30 years.
“T40221”, a female Green Turtle, was first tagged at Mon Repos as a nesting turtle in 1989. Her carapace (shell) length was 103 cm and during that season she came ashore and laid a clutch of eggs on 6 occasions. She returned to the site on many occasions right up until this breeding season, 2020/2021. In this case T40221, demonstrated the capacity to lay many clutches over a...
When you spend some time in the rainforests of South East Queensland, especially at dawn or dusk you are likely to hear the calls of one of the endearing characters of the forest floor. In this video you can see a female logrunner (red chest) foraging and feeding on the forest floor. You can also hear her responding to her mate (who has a distinctive white chest) who continually calls in the background - just to let each other know where they are.
Generally quiet for most of the day, they can certainly fire up their vocals when required. They are territorial birds and will defend their territory from other potential interlopers with vigorous calls and displays.
They spend the majority of their life on the forest floor where they feed on invertebrates in the leaf litter. They forage by vigorously scratching from side to side with their relatively large feet, using their stiff tail as a prop and securing the small worms and invertebrates exposed in the scattered leaf litter....
At this time of the year, we like to head up to Lamington National Park and O'Reilly's to participate in their Spring Bird Week. One of the highlights of this area is the chance to see an Albert's Lyrebird.
The Albert's Lyrebird prefers gully areas in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forests
The male is well known for its courtship display usually seen and heard in the autumn and winter months. The male is a superb mimic and uses its own calls as well as copying the call of other birds. It will spend hours each day during the peak winter season.
They tend to live a solitary life and apart from the courtship display little is known about their mating system. The female looks after the young and occasionally you will see her with a juvenile. I was fortunate to come across such a pair, feeding by scratching the leaf litter and exposing insects, larvae and worms along with other invertebrates.
Since European settlement, much of their rainforest and wet sclerophyll...
A few months ago, I had the privilege of seeing one of Australia’s less common birds, the Powerful Owl. Just seeing the bird in the flesh, one can only be impressed. A big owl, it is at the top of the food chain in the forest and feeds on arboreal animals including both brushtail and ringtail possums.
The owl can be found along the East Coast of Australia where they are associated with the forests of the Great Dividing Range. They are listed as vulnerable in Victoria and New South Wales.
They usually breed in the winter months and require a large hollow (up to 2 m in depth) and in trees which have a diameter of 80 cm or more. Dr Rob Clemens from Birdlife reckons it can take 100 to 300 years for a tree to reach the appropriate size with hollows!
If you have the fortune to see or hear one you could report it to the Urban Birdlife Program - Powerful Owl Project. You can contact them via their website at Powerful Owl Project | BirdLife.
Its a sight you...
In early 2012, a series of bushfires impacted the western side of the Redcliffe Peninsula including Hays Inlet, the Chelsea Street Reserve, and the Bremner Road rehabilitation area. In particular the Melaleuca forest (normally capable of handling fires) suffered a lot of damage in the Silcock Street Reserve with many of the hardy trees killed by the intense heat. The incident led to the formulation of a plan by the Redcliffe Environmental Forum (REF) and the Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) to protect the area from future intense bushfires. Apart from replanting endemic trees one of the main strategies used to rehabilitate the area is through an intense weeding program. Many weeds in the area are not adapted to fire and in fact burn at a much higher temperature than endemic vegetation. Its this higher temperature fire that kills the Melaleuca.
A Striated Pardalote inhabits the coastal vegetation including Casuarina