Glossy Black Cockatoo Project
LUCI has identified the Glossy Black Cockatoo (GBC) as a target species for conservation management in the Lockyer Uplands landscape. Listed as a vulnerable species in Queensland and New South Wales, a number of local sightings had been reported for the Glossy Black.
LUCI is mentored in its GBC project by Dr Guy Castley, Griffith University’s School of Environmental Futures Research Institute and a Board member of the Glossy Black Conservancy. Phase 1 of the GBC Project (2015-2016) involved twenty one landholders in the Lockyer Uplands and established the presence of GBCs across ten sites on participating properties. The project collected preliminary information on GBC feed trees (Allocasuarina species) as well as about some GBC habitat features (e.g. water sources and tree hollows) on the properties.
Phase 2 of the project, which commenced in 2017, is a five year project focusing on questions relating to the phenology of GBC feed trees and usage of feed trees. Participants will monitor feed tree variables such as size, sex, flower/pollen and cone density as well as the presence of orts. The project will provide information relating to a number of questions such as when are different Allocasuarina species fruiting, what are the cone ripening time frames, which trees are being used from one year to the next and how is age related to desirability of the seed?
For more information on GBCs visit Atlas of Living Australia, or the Glossy Black Conservancy and submit your sightings. LUCI members also participate in the Glossy Black Conservancy’s Annual Birding Day.
A number of LUCI members have reported sightings of koalas on their properties or in the local landscape. To assist in monitoring the presence of koalas in the area, LUCI members and supporters have received training in koala scat identification from members of Lockyer Community Action, a local not-for-profit organisation, who undertake extensive koala monitoring in the northern Lockyer Valley.
Friends of Dwyers scrub project
A number of LUCI members are registered as volunteers with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to undertake weed mapping and management activities in Dwyers Scrub Conservation Park. The project commenced in October 2015 and, to date, the priority has been the control of an infestation of Cat’s Claw vine (Dolichandra unguis-cati) in the Semi-evergreen vine thicket (SEVT) section of the park.
The dreaded canopy killer in flower Weeding results using cut stump method
According to the Park management plan, the SEVT areas make up about 40ha of the 259ha in the Park and contain around two-thirds of all the native plant species recorded in the Park including threatened vine and orchid species. SEVT also provides habitat for a range of bird and animal species, some listed as endangered.
Biodiversity Property Planning Group
A group of LUCI landholders have formed a peer learning and support group to assist in their planning and management of conservation activities on their property. With the assistance of Lockyer Valley Regional Council Land for Wildlife Officer, members of the group have been profiling their properties, setting biodiversity goals and identifying conservation priorities and action plans.
The members’ properties are distributed across our Lockyer Uplands landscape of interest and represent another strategy for addressing native habitat connectivity. The group is committed to developing robust processes for monitoring the outcomes of our conservation work in biodiversity terms. The group plans to meet on a two-monthly basis with meetings involving practice, knowledge and networking sessions.
Conservation of Semi-evergreen vine thicket in the Lockyer Uplands
LUCI received a grant from Healthy Land and Water through the National Landcare program to protect over 50 hectares of SEVT, which is listed as endangered in Queensland. The project involved the installation of more than two kilometers of fencing to protect SEVT on two properties, which adjoin Dwyers Scrub Conservation Park. The fencing aims to reduce the impacts of grazing on remnant vegetation.
The project also included a three phase release of a bio-control measure (leaf mining jewel beetle Hylaeogena jureceki) to combat an invasion of Cat’s Claw vine (Dolichandra unguis-cati) in a tract of SEVT on a third property in the area. It is intended that the health of the SEVT areas covered by this project will be monitored over the longer term.
According to the Dwyers Scrub management plan, SEVT once covered up to 20 percent of the Lockyer Valley and, now, is protected only in two areas in the Lockyer Valley, Dwyers Scrub and Flagstone Creek Conservation Parks.
Jewel beetles at work on Cat’s claw
Special Interest Walks
LUCI holds two early morning walks a year on members’ properties. The Autumn and Spring walks are themed and lead by topic experts, for example, bird walks, native flora walks and dry rainforest walks. Shared morning teas at the end are a perfect way to discuss what we have seen and generally catch up with like-minded others.
Guest speaker breakfasts
Twice a year events that combine a hearty breakfast with an informative talk from quality guest speakers on topics ranging from The World of Insect Interaction, feral animal research and control strategies to a citizen’s audit of the state of natural resource management in outback Queensland..
Lockyer in the Wild: Nature Photography
The Lockyer Valley has an amazing diversity of native fauna, flora and fungi, which members of the community can help to promote.
LUCI’s photography competition aims to encourage members of the public to learn more about what native flora, fauna and fungi is in their region. Increased awareness is the first step towards valuing the biodiversity that exists in the region and, ultimately, taking action to conserve biodiversity.
School collaboration projects
LUCI has developed a partnership with the Principal, Mount Sylvia State School (MSSS), to encourage student interest in local native species and the importance of caring for native habitats. The Principal is piloting a learning approach that sees students engaged in “on-ground” activities in their local area to better understand how environmental conditions affect the growth and survival of living things. LUCI members have participated in a student science day contributing inputs on Glossy Black Cockatoos, their habitats and habitat needs.
Our most recent project with MSSS involved the students and the school community in a riparian restoration project, which was undertaken with a Seqwater Water for Life community grant. The project involved planting 500 native trees and grasses from flora listed under RE12.3.7 in a herringbone pattern on a 90 metre section of creek bank adjoining the back of the school playing grounds. The section of creek bank is part of the Tenthill Creek system, which is subject to severe and regular channel adjustments due to high rain events.
Community Planting Day behind MSSS Students monitor progress and will be responsible for plant maintenance including weed management