to our Myrtleford Landcare Threatened Species Mosaic Trail. This trail is a component of the “Piecing together our threatened species” project undertaken by Myrtleford & District Landcare and Sustainability Group.
We hope you love it as much as we do.
Please click on the link below to see the mosaic trail map.
This exciting project has been the collaboration between many partners, including our communities’ ideas and suggestions which has resulted in what you will see today - Myrtlefords newest mosaic trail.
VICTORIAN THREATENED SPECIES
Like most places in Australia, our local biodiversity is constantly changing. We sometimes see biodiversity increases, like in “good” years, and biodiversity can be reduced by threats which results in population decline and concern for species existence across our whole living environment. Locally there is a real threat that in the future we may not have Turquoise Parrots feeding on our grasses, Lace Monitors swaggering across the road and Barking Owls, scaring us in the night with the sound of a screeching woman outside.
Many threatened species are impacted by the same threatening processes. We can generalize specific species into groups that suffer from the same threatening processes.
Greater Glider (Petauroides volans)
SOME ADDITIONAL THREATS INCLUDE
Turquoise Parrot (Neophena pulchella)
The Long-footed Potoroo has grey-brown fur that is paler on the underside. It has large hind-feet. They grow to an approximate body length of 40 cm, a tail length of about 32 cm and weighs between 1.6 - 2.2 kg.
The Long-footed Potoroo is a forest-dwelling rat-kangaroo which inhabits forest with a dense understorey. They feed almost exclusively on the fruiting body of specific fungi.
From the present distribution it seems unlikely that the total number of Long-footed Potoroos across all known sites would exceed a few thousand animals and may be no more than a few hundred.
The Turquoise parrot is predominantly green with more yellowish underparts and a bright turquoise blue face. Wing markings are mainly blue with red shoulders. The female is duller and paler and lacks the red wing patch. Turquoise parrots are a small slightly built parrot around 20 cm long and 40 g in weight.
Found in grasslands and open woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus and Callitris trees, the turquoise parrot feeds mainly on grasses and seeds and occasionally flowers, fruit, and scale insects. It nests in hollows of gum trees. Much of its habitat has been altered and potential nesting sites lost.
The Crimson Spider Orchid is a ground orchid with a single, sparsely hairy leaf, and one or two hairy, dark purplish-red flowers.
This Orchid occurs in Box-Ironbark open forests on well drained, gravelly or stony sand and clay loam. It is known from two locations in Victoria near Beechworth and Chiltern. The main threats to its survival are habitat loss, weed invasion and grazing by livestock and rabbits.
The Stony Bush-pea is an erect shrub with narrow hairy leaves that are often crowded along branchlets and tapered to a long, sharp, fragile point with clusters of yellow pea flowers with red centres at the ends (Nov-Dec). It grows to 1 m tall and is characterised by fruits consisting of a flattened oval shaped pod.
As the name implies Stony Bush-pea occurs on rocky slopes dominated by dry open forest on shallow soils.
In Victoria, Stony Bush-pea is known in the wild from three localities, one being Reform Hill, Myrtleford. The Reform Hill population numbers more than 1500 plants and supplementary planting continue. .
The Barking owl, also known as the winking owl, is a brown nocturnal bird with white spots on the wings and has a streaked breast. Growing to a length of 35-45cm, a wingspan of 85-100cm and a weight of 425-510g.
They have a characteristic voice with calls ranging from a barking dog noise to a shrill human-like howl of great intensity.
Within Victoria the Barking Owl occurs in open woodlands and forests, as well as some foothill habitats on granitic slopes. The Barking Owl is the most threatened owl in Victoria. The primary threat in Victoria is the lack of hollow bearing trees in which to nest. Suitable nesting hollows do not form in Eucalypts until they are 150-200 years old.
The Spot-tailed Quolls striking fur is sandy to dark brown with irregular white spots covering the back, sides and extending down the tail, its stomach is cream to white. The Spot-tailed quoll is the largest of the quoll family, growing to 1.3 m in length (including tail) and weigh up to 7 kg, females are smaller.
The Spot-tailed Quoll is a distinctive marsupial carnivore eating birds, reptiles & mammals, and requires a den such as a hollow log, rocky crevice, cave, burrow, or tree hollow for survival.
The Eastern Barred Bandicoots fur is grey-brown to buff above, somewhat paler on the sides and pale grey to white below. They have three or four pale bars on the hindquarters. This small, ‘rabbit-sized’, terrestrial marsupial grows to approximately 300 mm in length (body) with a 110 mm long tail and weighs approximately 800 g.
EBB emerges from their nest at dusk to forage for a variety of invertebrates. During the day it rests in a grass-lined nest. EBB’s preferred habitat is native perennial tussock grasslands and grassy woodlands along watercourses.
The bush stone-curlew is a large ground-dwelling bird of grey-brown coloration with distinguished dark streaks, its eyes are large, and legs are long.
Their favoured habitat is open plains and woodlands, where they stalk slowly at night in search of invertebrates such as insects. They are capable of flight but rely on the camouflage of their plumage to evade detection during the day; the bush curlew will adopt a rigid posture when it becomes aware of an observer. Both sexes care for two eggs laid on the bare ground, usually sited near bush in a shaded position or next to a fallen branch.
Large-scale habitat destruction and fragmentation has undoubtedly been a factor in the fall of numbers and predation from introduced foxes & cats.
The Greater Glider typically has thick, dark grey-brown fur on its back and a cream-white furred belly and has large, distinctive furry ears. Some animals are much lighter in colouration. The largest Australian gliding mammal, the Greater Glider has a head and body length of 35-46 cm and a long, furry, tail measuring 45-60 cm and a weight range from 900-1700 g.
The greater gliders are solitary nocturnal herbivores feeding almost exclusively on Eucalyptus leaves and buds high in the forest canopy. During the day, they spend most of their time denning in hollowed trees, with each animal inhabiting up to twenty different dens within its home range.
The key threats to the Greater Glider are, habitat degradation, genetic decline associated with small, fragmented populations and the loss of hollow-bearing trees.
The Lace monitor or Tree goanna is a distinguished dark steel grey colour above with pale yellow or cream bands or rows of spots, their underside is cream. The jaws and snout are usually strongly barred with yellow and dark grey. Their tongue is long and forked like a snake. Monitors are the only lizards that have a forked tongue. The large lizard can reach 2 metres in total length and 14 kilograms in weight. The tail is long and slender and about 1.5 times the length of the head and body.
Much of their time is spent up large trees, although they usually come down to the ground to forage for food including birds, insects, bird eggs, reptiles and small mammals. They will readily feed on carrion, including road kills. They frequent both open and closed forests and forage up to 3 km a day.
Striped Legless Lizards base colour is a light brown and the longitudinal stripes are darker brown, they have ear holes, eyelids, a lizard tongue and a dislodged scale is all that remains of its legs. SLL are up to 30cms in length and are slightly thicker than a pencil. Most of its body is made up of a non-detachable tail.
All legless lizards are oviparous (egg- laying). The Striped Legless Lizard lays two eggs during spring and summer, and tenaciously hunts for spiders, crickets, moth larvae and cockroaches.
The Striped Legless Lizard is a grassland specialist, being found only in areas of native grassland and nearby grassy woodland and exotic pasture, they are sometimes found in grasslands with significant amounts of surface rocks, which are used for shelter.
The Diamond Firetail is a striking finch with a bright red bill, eyes and rump. The white throat and lower breast are separated by a broad black breast-band that extends into the strongly white-spotted black flanks. It has a grey back and head and ashy-brown wings. One of our larger finches it grows to 10 to 12 cm & weight 17 grams.
The call is a drawn-out, nasal ‘twoo-wheee’.
The Diamond Firetail is endemic to south-eastern Australia, extending from central Queensland to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia and are typically found feeding on the ground in open woodlands.
The Grey Grass-tree is very slow growing and after many years of growth the woody trunk appears. The “leaves” are spreading grassy tufts from the centre of the trunk and the flowering pike comes from the centre of this tuft. The small cream flowers along the spike are nectar sweet, attracting many insects and nectar loving birds. The Grass trees usually flower from July to December.
The natural distribution of the Grey Grass-tree encompasses a large portion of the South East coast extending inland. This species thrives in well drained, aerated soils that have a low nutrient content and are often found on rocky hillsides.
The Drooping mistletoe is a species of parasitic flowering plant, found attached in the canopy of several species of Australian eucalypt and occasionally on some species of Acacia. It has shiny leaves and red flowers arranged in groups of 3 or 4 after which elliptical berry fruit form. It is distinguished from the similar Boxmistletoe through the lack of individual stalks on the flowers. Drooping mistletoe can droop up to 3m.
The drooping mistletoe plant attracts an abundance of insects and fruits eating birds and is a choice nesting sites for a range of birds.
It is endemic to south-eastern Australia with peak flowering time in spring/ early summer.
The Gang-gang cockatoo is a small, stocky cockatoo with a wispy crest, large, broad wings and a short tail. The adult male has a distinctive scarlet red head and crest, with the rest of the body slate-grey. The adult female has a dark grey head and crest, with the feathers of the underparts edged pink and yellow. Gang-gangs are a relatively quiet cockatoo. Their average size is 34cm and their average weight is 257 grams.
The Gang-gang Cockatoo can be seen throughout many parts of south-eastern Australia. In the summer months, they are mostly found at higher elevations, where they breed in tree hollows in the moist eucalyptus forests of the mountainous Great Divide. After the breeding season has finished, and the days grow cooler and daylight hours are shorter they leave the mountains and flying to lower elevations to spend the autumn and winter.
Bogong moths have an overall dark brown colouration, with a dark stripe interrupted by two light-coloured spots on the wings. They have long thin antennae, distinguishing it from other moths. Bogong moths have a wingspan ranging between 40–50 mm and a body length of around 25–35 mm.
The nocturnal migrant Bogong moths undergo whole scale long-distance migration biannually, in which they can travel up to 965 km. Their spring migration begins in early September from the breeding lowlands of Southern Australia south towards the Australian Alps for purposes of reaching aestivation (summer hibernation) sites in caves 7 crevices, remaining there until autumn, when they migrate back towards the breeding grounds, primarily in April.
Bogong Moth numbers have plummeted due to drought in their breeding grounds, and artificial light disrupting their migration. Bogong Moths are an important source of protein for insectivorous mammals and birds. The endangered mountain pygmy-possum is reliant on bogong moths as a source of food.
The Feathertail gliders fur is a uniform greyish brown on the upper body with dark fur rings around the eyes. and a white belly/ underside. Their ears are moderately large and rounded. The Feathertail glider also has an unusually large number of whiskers, sprouting from the snout, cheeks, and from the base of each ear. Their tail that has the appearance of a feather or a double-sided comb. Like other gliding mammals, the Feathertail glider has a membrane stretching between the fore and hind legs, only reaching the elbows and knees. At just 6.5–8 cm in head-and-body length and weighing about 12 g, the Feathertail glider the world's smallest gliding mammal.
Feathertail gliders are found across eastern Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria and extreme south-eastern South Australia. They inhabit a wide range of forest types across the region, from sea level to at least 1,200 m and primarily spend most of their time in eucalyptus trees above 15m occasionally descending to the ground to forage. Feathertail gliders are nocturnal, foraging at night and resting during daylight hours in nests in tree hollows lined with leaves or shredded bark. They are social animals, and up to five may share a single nest, especially during the breeding season.
The Spotted tree frog has a brown or green back, with or without brown or olive-green mottling. There is a gold or brown stripe from the tip of the snout to past the arm, becoming spots on the side. There is often a green stripe along the upper lip if the Spotted tree frog back is brown. Their belly is white or yellow. The pupil is horizontal, and the iris is gold. The backs of their thighs and the groin are yellow or orange. Fingers are slightly webbed, and toes are fully webbed, both with large discs. The spotted tree frog is a medium-sized species of frog reaching up to 5 cm in body length.
The call of the Spotted tree frog is not very loudly, and is described as warrrk…cruk..cruk..cruk..cruk.
Formerly found in a wider area of the Snowy Mountains in NSW and VIC, in dissected, mountainous country. It is found almost exclusively in association with rock habitats along streams with numerous rapids, cascades, and waterfalls. The stream side vegetation can range from tree or shrub species to a dense canopy of tea trees shading the stream.
Spotted tree frogs distribution has declined severely due to the amphibian chytrid fungus, and is now known only from several small populations in VIC and one in NSW.
Turquoise Parrot (Neophena pulchella)
Andrew R Jones Photography
A convergence of art, recycling and nature - take a walk to explore this evolving street art project in North East Victoria, discovering hidden mosaic treasures in unexpected places.
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The Eastern barred bandicoot mosaic
Andrew R Jones Photography
Long-footed Potoroo (Potorous longipes) Dave Watts / davewattsphoto.com
Eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) By JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11051942
Striped legless lizard (Delma impar) https://museumsvictoria.com.au/media/12978/vic-stripedleglesslizard-large.jpg
Lace monitor (Varanus varius) Peter Firminger from Wollombi, Australia
Greater Glider (Petauroides volans) Josh Bowell
Spot-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculayus) https://www.forestsandreserves.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0024/437361/Quoll.jpg
Stony Bush-pea (Pultenaea lapidosa) Glen Johnson, DELWP Sept 2016
Crimson Spider Orchid (Caladenia concolor) Cathy Powers - https://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/a35330fb-e859-4fc1-9161-9550ad560210
Grey Grass Tree - Photo Credit: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/species/grass-trees
Drooping Mistletoe - Photo credit: M Fagg
Gang-gang Cockatoo - Photo credit: Birds of Canberra
Bogong Moth - Photo credit: Jean-Paul Ferrero/AUSCAPE
Feathertail Glider - Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Elias_Neideck&action=edit&redlink=1
Spotted Tree Frog - Photo credit: Jean-Marc Hero / Wiki Commons
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