The Whoop Whoop Bird of the Escarpment: The Pheasant Coucal

Pheasant CoucalShe might look like a big chicken (maybe a Rhode Island Red), but the Pheasant Coucal is a fascinating bird that does something quite different to other cuckoos.

The Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) is unlike other cuckoos in two ways:

1. They make their nest on the ground.
2. They make their own nest, care for their own eggs and raise their own young.

Other cuckoos don’t make their own nests. They, instead, lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species. By the time the young cuckoos are born, the non-cuckoo mum thinks the young baby cuckoo is hers and rears them as her own.

Plumage

Pheasant Coucal plumage is a beautiful red-brown colour, with dramatic black and red wings with white stripes; they look distinctive even when unextended. Their very long black and white tail, making up the rest of their 50cm to 70 cm frame, make them look like a pheasant.

During breeding season, Coucals’ head and neck feathers colour turn a dramatic dark brown / black colour.

Habit & habitat

The Pheasant Coucal tends to run along the ground. They can fly, but aren’t the most elegant in the air, preferring to fly-jump from tree to tree before reaching their destination.

Sclerophyll Forest with CycadsCoucals to use low-growing shrubs and dead trees to move from one place to the next. They like thicker lower shrubs for ground protection from exposure to threats.

Coucals love forests with understory vegetation, such as bracken, grasses and rushes. They go well in wet sclerophyll forests, which offer a variety of low-growing plants to help them move from one place to another and to rear their young.

Where are they found?

Pheasant Coucals can be found in northern and eastern Australia. They are also found in Western Australia’s Pilbara region and south-eastern NSW. They’re sedentary animals, meaning they stay in the place they find adequate food and shelter. Our Coucals have been nesting in the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment for years, always returning to the same nesting site.

Breeding & feeding

Pheasant Coucals pair for life. The male Coucal incubates the eggs – from one to five in a single nest. Both the male and female Coucals take turns feeding their young, but the male does most of the work.

Pheasant Coucals live on lizards, frogs and insects (and sometimes small mammals).

The sound of the Pheasant CoucalPheasant Coucal

Pheasant Coucals are also called the Whoop Whoop Bird, or, to residents in the Escarpment “Whoopies”. They are called this for a very good reason; they have a very distinctive call, where they whoop several times to communicate with their partner Coucals.

The Pheasant Coucal is a beautiful ground-dwelling bird; just one of the many amazing animals of the Escarpment.

More information:

Birds in Backyards: Pheasant Coucal
BirdLife Australia: Pheasant Coucal
Graeme Chapman: Read about the Pheasant Coucal
Graeme Chapman: Hear the Pheasant Coucal

Tamborine Mountain’s green heart: Our Escarpment

The Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct; it’s part of who we are. It’s the Green Heart connecting disparate settlements. It makes us one community.

The Escarpment in the makingKoala With Tamborine Mountain Gorge Backdrop

In the 1980s, individuals, community groups and organisations came together to define and protect the Escarpment. Some 30 years (and more) has made the Escarpment an essential part of Tamborine Mountain culture. To develop the Escarpment took the work of many, from the Natural Heritage Trust to Tamborine Mountain Landcare and from the Beaudesert and Gold Coast Councils to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (now National Parks) and the Federal Government.

And it took the work of Tamborine Mountain Landcare and troops of enthusiastic volunteers to regenerate vegetation in parts of the Escarpment, repair and further extend other parts.

What’s so special about the Escarpment?Tamborine Mountain Escarpment

In the 1900s, some 90 per cent of the Mountain’s natural vegetation was clear-felled under law. Despite this, much of the area where the Escarpment exists remained forested.

The Escarpment provides a beautiful green backdrop to the Scenic Rim, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Ever been to St Bernards Hotel and looked at the view? That’s part of the Escarpment.

It’s unique in terms of natural offerings – geologically sensitive sites, water catchments, such as the ecologically sensitive Guanaba Creek, and remnant forests and rainforests.

And it’s home to species recognised at a state, national and global level, from the Albert’s Lyrebird to the Koala and from the Pearson’s Green Treefrog to the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly (to name a few).

“… the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment supports more than 80% of all native terrestrial fauna species … and 61% of flora known to occur in the Gold Coast region.” Ref. Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Flora and Fauna Report; Chenoweth.

Our unique Tamborine Mountain … why we love it

So why do people visit Tamborine Mountain? Why do people come to live here? And why do businesses set up here?

Because the Mountain offers unique green spaces, National Parks, low-key tourism, peaceful calm, charming and caring personal service, amazing flora and fauna and much, much more.

“… the Tamborine Mountain escarpment forests will be recognised as the main reason that tourists come to visit, that increasing numbers of people are choosing to reside on the Mountain and that rural industries are able to enjoy the relative security of soil protection, wind protection and the protection afforded by a large resident insectivorous bird population.” Ref. Chenoweth.

After all, Tamborine Mountain celebrates its green spaces. Government declared Queensland’s first National Park on Tamborine Mountain and since this declaration, the Mountain has become home to some 17 sections of National Park.

The escarpment will be recognised as a valuable resource of significance to southeast Queensland in particular, and a valuable adjunct to the World Heritage forests of Lamington and Border Ranges National Parks.” Ref. Chenoweth.

Why protect the Escarpment?Tamborine Mountain Forest Floor

1. The need to protect endangered, threatened and vulnerable species.
2. The need to protect sensitive ecological areas.
3. The need to protect water catchments.
4. The need to protect ground water sources.
5. The need to protect the scenic values.
6. The need to protect the current tourism on the Mountain.
7. The need to protect the community who live within the Escarpment.

“The core area for survival of the Mountain’s natural world must remain the protected areas, and the key to their survival is learning and teaching others respect for the natural world, rather than the potential for its exploitation. Meredith McKinney, who lived on the Mountain as a child with her mother, poet and environmentalist Judith Wright.

The Escarpment – our Mountain’s Green Heart – an important and significant place for Tamborine Mountain, for the Scenic Rim, for South East Queensland, for Australia and for the world.

Magical birds of the Escarpment

There are some amazing birds of Guanaba Forest in the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment, some vulnerable, threatened and endangered.

A place of many different forest types, the Escarpment provides an array of habitat for a variety of bird species as well as other significant fauna within the South East Queensland region.

Some of the bird species in the Escarpment face regional population decline, while some face national population decline. Recognition of the need to protect their habitat to secure their numbers is needed. Turning recognition into action is vital.

Here are some of the bird species facing population decline living within the Escarpment.

Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae)Grey Goshawk

Status:
1. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Grey Goshawk is a medium-sized raptor who comes in two different colour morphs.

They’re found in coastal areas in Australia’s northern and eastern spaces. The grey morph is more commonly found along the east coast in thick, sub-tropical forests.

Glossy Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)

Status:
1. Queensland species status: Vulnerable.
2. Federal species status: Endangered.
3. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is the smallest of the 5 black cockatoos. Its colours are brown-black head and body, with red or orange in their tail.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos love Allocasuarina, relying on the fruit of this tree for food. They also nest and breed in tree hollows.

Land clearance has affected their habitat, which threatens the numbers of this beautiful bird.

Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)

Status:
1. IUCN species status: Near-threatened.
2. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Black-necked Stork (also called the Jabiru) is the only stork found in Australia. They have black and white plumage, a glossy dark green and purple neck and black bill … a very distinctive bird.

The Jabiru is found in wetlands, swamps, water pools and more permanent bodies of water.

Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti)Albert's Lyrebird

Status:
1. Queensland species status: Near-threatened.
2. IUCN species status: Near-threatened.
3. IUCN report: Decreasing.

The Albert’s Lyrebird is the smaller of the two Lyrebirds (the other being the Superb Lyrebird).

They’re found in a very small area of sub-tropical rainforest near the NSW and Queensland state border.

They don’t have the vocal range of the Superb Lyrebird, but their songs are still quite beautiful and recognisable.

Plumed Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus)

Status:
1. Queensland species status: Vulnerable.

The Plumed Frogmouth is found in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

They live in sub-topical and moist lowland and mountain forests.

They’re considered a difficult bird to study because of their elusive nature. Numbers are threatened by land clearing, timber harvesting and fire.

Black-breasted Button-quail (Turnix melanogaster)Black Breasted Button Quail

Status:
1. Queensland species status: Vulnerable.
2. IUCN species status: Near-threatened.
3. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Black-breasted Button-quail is a rare Button-quail found only in Australia. It is not a true quail.

This little ground dweller is found in areas that see rainfall of between 770 and 1200 mm per year. Fragmentation of habitat has impacted seriously on their numbers.

Protecting the habitat of these amazing Australian birds is vital to their future.

More information:

Australian bird species reference: Birds in Backyards

Australia’s birds: Birdlife Australia

IUCN Threatened Species List: IUCN Red List

Search lists:

Department of Environment: Species Profile and Threats Database

Queensland Government: Species profile search

Red-necked Wallabies of the Escarpment

There was a time when residents of the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct barely saw a Red-necked Wallaby. It wasn’t because we weren’t looking, it was simply because they never came.

Why? Because the wallabies didn’t have the habitat to support them beyond the borders of Guanaba’s 500 acres.

After residents moved to the Escarpment Protection Precinct, they began reforesting old farmland and tree-felled areas.

This provided more protection and corridor opportunity for Red-necked Wallabies and gave them increased confidence to use newly created corridors as part of their backdrop for foraging, socialising, breeding and feeding their young.

While Red-necked Wallabies do not appear on any at-risk species list, they are still an important part of Tamborine Mountain’s wildlife tapestry.

They rely heavily on the vegetation in the Escarpment Protection Precinct; vegetation that must be retained for these wallabies and other species reliant on this vital area of the Mountain.

So what is a Red-necked Wallaby?Red Necked Wallaby Family

The beautiful Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) is a redhead.

They have white cheeks, from their nose to their eyes and a very distinctive red colouring on the backs of their heads, necks and shoulders.

They have very white chests and greyish fur on the rest of their bodies, speckled throughout with hints of red.

Protected by law in all states, they are found in many parts of eastern Australia – from Queensland right down to Victoria. They are also found in South Australia and Tasmania.

Size of Red-necked Wallabies

There is an amazing variety of shapes and sizes of wallabies and kangaroos in Australia.

The Red-necked Wallaby is a mid-sized macropod (from the family Macropodidae (big feet), which includes kangaroos, tree-kangaroos, pademelons, quokkas and more).

Females can weight from between 11kg and 15kg and grow to around 84cm.

Males can weight from between 15kg to 26kg and grow to around 88cm.

Some males can be much larger than the females and can be further distinguished by their muscle mass.

Where to find Red-necked WallabiesRed Necked Wallaby Juvenile

The habitat for Red-necked Wallabies varies, from dry open forests with protective undergrowth, to grasslands and paddocks; however, they only venture into open areas to forage and return to the protection of the forest during the day and throughout the night.

They love the protection of low-growing shrubs, such as the Grevillea – Red Silky Oak (G. banksii forsteri), which is endemic to South East Queensland, including Tamborine Mountain.

Behaviour of the Red-necked Wallaby

Red-necked Wallabies are crepuscular, which means they appear primarily at dawn and dusk (early mornings and late evenings) to feed.

They like to eat herbs and young shoots and leaves of heathland plants.

They use the dense forest during the day for protection and appear at the edges at the beginning and the end of the day to feed, sometimes in groups (although, they are mainly solitary animals).

Red-necked Wallabies are timid animals who quickly scatter when disturbed, which is why they enjoy the protection of dense forest unaffected by human interference.

Mums tend to “hide” their young in dense vegetation before going out to forage. They then return to their young to suckle. This makes them one of the “hider” species of macropods, which means protective vegetation is essential for their health and stability.

Habitat and a safe environment must be maintained for the Red-necked Wallabies of the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct. Animals don’t need to be on an at-risk list to make them precious.

For more pictures of Red-necked Wallabies, see the Save Guanaba Facebook page.

Find out more from these great websites

Australia Zoo: Mammals – Red-necked Wallaby

Queensland Museum: Red-necked Wallaby

Australian Native Plants Society: Grevillea banksii

Wildlife Mountain: Red-Necked Wallaby (a website on a group who rehabilitate animals after they are injured or orphaned).

What the devil is a Spotted-tailed Quoll?

The Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct offers perfect habitat for the Spotted-tailed Quoll. There have been unconfirmed recordings of the species within the area; a species that once occurred across Tamborine Mountain before the loss of a lot of habitat (Ref. Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Flora and Fauna Report; Chenoweth, 2001).

To record consistent sightings and habits of this elusive animal requires months of dedicated on-site study … just ask the Australian Quoll Conservancy.

Known as … the Spotted-tailed quoll, the Tiger Quoll, the Tiger Cat and the Burrumbil.

Scientific name … Dasyurus maculatus maculatus.

Quolls belong to the Dasyurini tribe, which includes the Tasmanian Devil, Antechinus, Kowari and Mulgara.

Key points about the Spotted-tailed Quoll …

–  primarily nocturnal
–  a predatory animal
–  the largest marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia
–  top of the food chain, it plays a role in the population control of other native animals
–  three to four times larger than the other five quoll species at 75 cm from the nose to the tail
–  the only quoll to have spots from the body right onto the tail.

Threats to Spotted-tailed Quoll numbers …

Threats to the quoll’s survival include:

1. Land clearing and the resulting loss of habitat.
2. Cats, dogs and foxes, which eat young quolls (made worse by habitat loss as feral animals penetrate cleared areas).
3. The dreaded cain toad (quolls can eat them and suffer poisoning).

Interesting …

Quolls live for only a very short time – some three to four years. This could be one of the key reasons why the status of this species is so threatened. If the number of new animals moving into established quoll populations is low, then breeding is affected and numbers drop.

It’s vital to protect the habitat of the Spotted-tailed Quoll to enable the animals to socialise and breed.

Current status of the Spotted-tailed Quoll …

1. Endangered: Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
2. Near-threatened: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (IUCN stands for: International Union for Conservation of Nature.)
3. Vulnerable: Queensland Government’s Nature Conservation Act 1992.

We need to give the Spotted-tailed Quoll the best possible chance of surviving within the remaining habitat so crucial to their survival.

We have a responsibility to protect this beautiful and unusual animal from being exposed to any more threats. We’ve done enough damage; it’s time we do some good.

Great resources on the Spotted-tailed Quoll …

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: Queensland’s quolls

Australian Government Department of the Environment: Spotted-tail Quoll

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland: Spotted-tailed Quoll

IUCN Red List: Dasyurus maculatus

Meredith’s story

Meredith said: “The mountain had only recently emerged from its pioneering phase (“clearing the scrub”) when I was born, I now realise. Great ringbarked trees still stood in the paddocks here and there, but the top of the mountain was virtually cleared of all forest trees and given over to dairy and other agriculture, while the forest lay just over the edge all around us. Gardens were full of European plants (no native gardens back then), and only the most intrepid forest birds came to them, though they continued to bring seeds from the rainforest that kept trying to re-establish themselves.

“When we left the mountain in the mid 1970s, the population was beginning to swell rapidly, and the place was filling with raw new houses where once the open paddocks had been. The changes were picking up speed, and it seemed time to go. I didn’t feel any urge to go back and see what had happened once we’d left, knowing how saddened I’d be. The one comfort was the presence of the national parks all around, which I trusted would preserve the natural world that was such an important part of my memory of Tamborine. (And it’s true, walking those forest paths takes me straight back to childhood still.)

“When I went back to the mountain after decades of absence in the 1990s I was initially astonished that the top of the mountain was, if anything, more covered in trees than when I knew it, since the paddocks had now been subdivided into house blocks each with their own garden, and native gardens had encouraged the birds back in with their forest trees.

“The core area for survival of the mountain’s natural world must remain the protected areas, and the key to their survival is learning and teaching others respect for the natural world, rather than the potential for its exploitation. If the inhabitants of the mountain were all individual home-owners with native gardens full of endemic species, I really do think there would be the possibility for viable coexistence between the human and the natural worlds. With every new “development” that threatens what remains, however, we’re putting all that more and more in jeopardy. There’s a wonderful chance to do it right on Tamborine, and it’s truly dismaying to see how we continue to do it wrong, given all we know.”

About: Meredith McKinney is a celebrated translator of contemporary and classical Japanese literature. Meredith lived on Tamborine Mountain as a child with her mother, renowned poet and environmentalist Judith Wright.

Why bother protecting the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment?

The decision to create the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct was not a trivial one, not one made quickly and not one made on a whim.

The decision to create the Escarpment was made to protect one of the most significant green areas of the Mountain; one of the areas that makes the Mountain unique to the South East Queensland region.

The Escarpment in the making

In the 1980s, individuals, community groups and organisations met to formally discuss the Escarpment and the importance of developing policies to protect it. Some 30 years (and more) of creating and recognising the Escarpment has made the area an essential part of Tamborine Mountain culture.

To develop the Escarpment took the work of many, including the Natural Heritage Trust, Tamborine Mountain Landcare, Council, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the Federal Government and Chenoweth Environment Planning and Landscape Architecture.

In 2003, Tamborine Mountain Landcare, along with a troop of enthusiastic volunteers, came together to help revegetate parts of the Escarpment. This commitment to protect and further extend the Escarpment’s wildlife corridors continues on.

Why work so hard and invest so much time and money (public and private) in creating the Escarpment just to throw it away at the hint of a tourism “opportunity”? A tourism opportunity that fights the core values of the Escarpment?

View of Guanaba from across valley

What’s so special about the Escarpment?

While much of the Mountain has been cleared of vegetation, the Escarpment remains forested.

In parts of the Escarpment, vegetation had been previously cleared by logging and to make room for banana plantations and farming. But after these activities ceased, many of the once-cleared areas re-forested, allowing indigenous flora to move back in. Landcare, volunteers and residents have worked tirelessly to help revegetate the Escarpment with indigenous and native species.

The Escarpment provides a beautiful green backdrop to the Scenic Rim, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. It is unique in terms of its natural offerings – geologically sensitive sites, water catchments, such as the ecologically sensitive Guanaba Creek, and remnant forests and rainforests.

“… the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment supports more than 80% of all native terrestrial fauna species … and 61% of flora known to occur in the Gold Coast region. This high biodiversity, within a ‘megadiverse’ region, has high nature conservation significance and justifies further protective and management measures.” Ref. Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Flora and Fauna Report; Chenoweth Environmental Planning & Landscape Architecture Pty Ltd; Page 8.

Pearson's Green Treefrog

Pearson’s Green Treefrog

Our unique Tamborine Mountain … why we love it

So why do people visit Tamborine Mountain?

“Lush Tamborine Mountain is a favourite destination for tourists who come seeking avocados, Devonshire tea, crafts, bed-and-breakfast style accommodation and dramatic scenery.” Ref. Scenic Rim Regional Council website on Tamborine Mountain.

And why do people come to live here? Why do businesses set up here?

Because the Mountain offers unique green spaces, National Parks, quiet tourism, peaceful calm, charming service, amazing flora and fauna and much, much more.

Did you know, the first National Park was declared on Tamborine Mountain (ref. Scenic Rim Regional Council website). Since then, some 17 sections of National Park have been created on the Mountain.

“The vegetation and habitat of the Tamborine Mountain provides local character, attracts tourists, provides valuable natural services, is the strong hold of a number of rare flora and fauna … ” Ref. Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Flora and Fauna Report; Chenoweth Environmental Planning & Landscape Architecture Pty Ltd; Page 11.

Richmond Birdwing Butterfly

Richmond Birdwing Butterfly

Why protect the Escarpment?

There are many reasons to protect the Escarpment against this high-volume entertainment and tourism park proposal. These reasons are multi-fold:

1. The need to protect endangered, threatened and vulnerable species.
2. The need to protect sensitive ecological areas.
3. The need to protect water catchments.
4. The need to protect ground water sources.
5. The need to protect the scenic values.
6. The need to protect the current tourism on the Mountain.
7. The need to protect the community who live in the Escarpment.
8. The need to protect the Escarpment now and forever.

“The core area for survival of the Mountain’s natural world must remain the protected areas, and the key to their survival is learning and teaching others respect for the natural world, rather than the potential for its exploitation. If the inhabitants of the mountain were all individual home-owners with native gardens full of endemic species, I really do think there would be the possibility for viable coexistence between the human and the natural worlds. With every new “development” that threatens what remains, however, we’re putting all that more and more in jeopardy. There’s a wonderful chance to do it right on Tamborine, and it’s truly dismaying to see how we continue to do it wrong, given all we know.” Meredith McKinney is a celebrated translator of contemporary and classical Japanese literature. Meredith used to live on the Mountain as a child with her mother, poet and environmentalist Judith Wright.

Forest floor of Guanaba

If this development is allowed to happen …

You won’t have the Mountain you have now.

You won’t have the same faith in the Planning Scheme you once had.

You will loose a part of the Mountain that makes your home and your business unique.

And for what?

Let’s protect the Escarpment from this out-of-place development.

The Escarpment – our Mountain’s Green Heart – an important and significant place for Tamborine Mountain, for South East Queensland, for Australia and for the world.

Save Guanaba. And save our Green Heart.

For more on the Escarpment, visit the Save Guanaba Facebook page.

The Escarpment: An essential South East Queensland wildlife corridor

This 500 acres doesn’t just contain a few trees and the occasional bird, it’s a significant wildlife corridor for an amazing array of animals.

The property, currently facing a proposed out-of-place development application to build a high-volume entertainment park, falls within part of a state bioregional corridor. It adjoins the Tamborine Mountain National Park and borders Guanaba Creek – a significant water catchment resource.

Apart from an area at the front of the property, the 500 acres is densely forested with a range of flora (some of which is recognised under state / federal environment protection legislation).

The property provides a stepping-stone for reserves within the Gold Coast City Council and Scenic Rim Regional Council regions. It also provides habitat connections to National Park and properties that adjoin the 500 acres.

Forest escarpment of Guanaba

The residents of these properties have been carefully re-planting indigenous and native flora species to rehabilitate previous farmlands. This commitment by local residents has helped further extend the corridors and provide more habitat for wildlife to rest, breed and travel to other areas.

Significant fauna species, some of which are threatened, endangered or vulnerable (under the Federal Government’s EPBC Act* and Queensland’s NCA**) heavily depend on the wildlife connections for their survival. These species include the beautiful and shy Albert’s Lyrebird and the Spotted-Tail Quoll.

Dedicated wildlife corridors provide animals with much-needed breeding habitat, which helps increase animal populations. Habitat reduction can lead to a reduction in species numbers. This reduces and weakens the gene pool, affecting genetic diversity and the ability for animals to fight disease (the Tasmanian Devil has faced such a problem).

Alberts Lyrebird in Guanaba

The size of the proposed entertainment park and the activities within it will cause significant habitat fragmentation. If allowed to happen, the development will cut off wildlife corridors to other areas within the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct and South East Queensland.

Habitat upheaval will also risk the influx of feral animals to the property, putting wildlife at further risk.

We all have a duty of care to protect this area from out-of-place developments that put at great risk future generations of significant wildlife species.

The wildlife relies on us to speak for them; so let’s stand up and be counted for their sake.

More on the wildlife of Guanaba’s Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct:

Frogs of Guanaba

Koalas of Guanaba

Richmond Birdwing Butterfly

Albert’s Lyrebird

Precious Guanaba flora and fauna

See our Save Guanaba Facebook page

Resources:

*EPBC Act: The Act | About the EPBC Act

**NCA: The Act | Threatened species info: EHP Queensland

IUCN Red List

The IUCN: “Assessing the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected subpopulations on a global scale to highlight species threatened with extinction, and therefore promote their conservation.”

Richmond birdwing butterfly – Guanaba’s living painting

The Richmond birdwing butterfly – one of Australia’s largest subtropical butterflies – is listed as vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

And the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection mark the butterfly as a “critical priority”.

Richmond birdwing butterfly

Male Richmond birdwing butterfly

This living painting, within Tamborine Mountain’s Escarpment Protection Precinct, has a wingspan of 16cm (for the male) and 13cm (for the female).

Where does the Richmond birdwing butterfly live?

The habitat of the Richmond birdwing butterfly is in subtropical rainforest.

It’s found on Tamborine Mountain – one of the few areas remaining after fragmentation of its habitat. (Distribution in this region goes from Ormeau and Mount Tamborine to Wardell in northern NSW.)

Saving the Richmond birdwing butterfly

The Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network has been linking existing habitats through the replanting of the Richmond birdwing butterfly’s food plant P. Praevenosa.

They’re working at removing the Dutchman’s pipe (a relative of the butterfly larvae’s food plant that confuses the butterfly and kills its larvae).

They’re also keeping an eye on butterfly numbers and distribution through a mapping process.

Great work RBCN!

Find out more about RBCN …

Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network
The Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network (RBCN) is devoted to the conservation of this beautiful butterfly and the host vines and habitat the butterfly requires for survival.

Database of Richmond Birdwing Butterfly sightings

Find out more about the Richmond birdwing butterfly …

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland

More insect pictures at Save Guanaba’s Facebook page