Many amazing orchids of the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment

The Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct is not just home to an incredible array of fauna needing protection; it’s also home to an amazing variety of flora, including precious orchids.

The Forest is rich with an amazing array of epiphytic, lithophytic and terrestrial orchids. Some orchid species would have evolved to survive in the area’s unique habitats contained within gullies, on cliff faces and throughout other natural and distinct land formations.

Spotted Hyacinth Orchid

Spotted Hyacinth Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The orchids in The Forest, along with a range of the other plant species, have remained mostly intact due to the area having been largely untouched by humans.

Guanaba Experience threatens their future by subjecting sensitive biodiverse areas to 50,000+ tourists per year. Orchids, which are very susceptible to subtle changes in their environment, will be exposed to additional light and soil run-off caused by vegetation clearing for tracks, trails and buildings and disturbance caused by high volumes of human activity.

Tetrabaculum Tetragonum Orchid

Tetrabaculum Tetragonum Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing orchids of Tamborine Mountain, many of which exist in The Forest:

ORCHIDS MAPPED TO THE FOREST WITH FEDERAL EPBC STATUS

Vulnerable – Bulbophyllum globuliforme (Hoop Pine Orchid)
Vulnerable – Cryptostylis hunteriana (Leafless Tongue-orchid)
Endangered – Phaius australis (Lesser Swamp-orchid)
Vulnerable – Sarcochilus hartmannii (Blue Knob Orchid)

EPIPHYTIC & LITHOPHYTIC (growing on. trees, rocks, etc.)

Bulbophyllum aurantiacum
B. crassulifolium (Wheat leafed bulbophyllum)
B. exiguum
Cymbidium madidum
C. suave
Dendrobium aemulum (Box orchid)
D. beckleri (Pencil orchid)
D. delicatum
D. gracilicaule
D. gracillimum
D. kingianum
D. linguiforme (Tongue orchid)
D. monophyllum (Lily of the valley orchid)
D. mortii
D. pugioniforme (Dagger orchid)
D. speciosum var. hilli
D. teretifolium (Bridal veil or pencil orchid)
Sarcochilus ceciliae var. albus (Fairy Bells)
S. falcatus (Orange blossom orchids)
S. fitzgeraldii (Ravine orchid)
S. hartmanii
S. ohivaceus.

TERRESTRIAL (growing in the ground)

Caladenia carnea (Pink fingers)
C. fitzgeraldii
C. patersonii (Common spider orchid)
Calanthe triplicata (Christmas orchid)
Caleana. grandflora
C. major (Flying duck or bee orchid)
Calochilus robertsonii (Bearded orchid)
Dipodium pulchellum
Diuris aurea (Double tail)
D. maculata (Spotted double-tail or leopard orchid)
D. pedunculata (Golden moth)
D. punctata
D. sulphurea
Erthrorchis cassythoides ((formerly Galeola c.) Climbing Orchid)
Geodorum neocaledonicum
Glossodia major (Wax-tip orchid)
Microtis parviflora (Slender onion orchid or babes in the wood)
Oberonia palmicola
Peristeranthus hillii
Plectorrhiza tridentata (Tangle orchid)
Prasophyllum archeri (Variable midge orchid)
Pseudovanilla foliata (formerly Galeola f.)
Pterostylis acurninata (Sharp greenhood)
P. baptistii (King greenhood)
P. concinna
P. curta
P. grandiflora (Superb or cobra greenhood)
P. longifolia
P. nutans (Nodding greenhood or Partos beak orchid)
P. obtusa
P. ophioglossa (Snakes tongue orchid)
P. reflexa (Horned orchid or dainty greenhood)
Rhinerrhiza divitzfloria
Thelymitra ixiodes (Spotted sun-orchid)

A point of interest

Renowned Australian poet Judith Wright, who was called “the conscience of the nation” for her commitment to Aboriginal Australian land rights and the nation’s natural environment, lived in a house on Tamborine Mountain called Calanthe.

The title came from the Calanthe Triplicata, a rare white orchid that flowers around December / January.

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Tropilis Radiata Orchid

Tropilis Radiata Orchid

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