A world of wildlife in McDowall

By K.R. Anderson

Chermside Hills Swamp Wallaby Photo Courtesy & Copyright K.R. Anderson

Large tracts of land in the greater McDowall area were never farmed as the country was considered to be unsuitable.

The fortunate legacy of that is that we now have Raven St Reserve, Milne Hill Reserve and Chermside Hills Reserve totalling 129ha of native bushland. These reserves support over 200 flora species and many fauna species, including a healthy population of Swamp Wallabies and Redneck Wallabies. There are also Koalas, Echidnas, Lace Monitors, Gliders, over 100 bird species and more.

These reserves link to Cabbage Tree Creek, part of the Mountains To Mangroves Corridor, which runs all the way down to Moreton Bay. The Brisbane City Council’s (BCC) 2018 ‘sniffer dog’ survey revealed significant koala activity along Cabbage Tree Creek near Beckett Rd.

Free and safe wildlife movement is important for genetic diversity, the ability to find feed and water, escape danger and more. However, a big daily danger to wildlife is traffic, which is only increasing by the year. Winter is the most hazardous time of year for wildlife as feed in the reserves dwindles, and peak traffic can be in the hours of darkness. Thankfully, BCC have commenced installing some new fencing with the aim of reducing losses. If you see injured wildlife, please ring 1300 ANIMAL.

Please note that, although Koalas may look cute, they should never be handled by anyone inexperienced. Their claws are extremely sharp, and they will bite if they feel threatened.  In addition, dead wallabies and other pouched animals should be checked for pouch young, which can live for days after the death of the mother. Please remember that removing young from the pouch is a job for a vet or experienced wildlife carer. Furthermore, if you see paint marks on a dead animal it indicates that it has already been checked and reported.

A major threat is loss of habitat. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Careful strategies leaving significant bushland and corridors in between, can mean that our wildlife can continue to thrive beside us.

If you’ve never seen a wallaby in the reserves, you’re not alone! They often stand very still, about 20 metres off the tracks, and watch us walk by! Looking from side to side as you walk will increase your chances of sightings. Much of our wildlife is nocturnal, and going for a walk in the reserves at night with a spotlight can reveal a wildlife world seldom seen!

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