Dwyers Scrub (Report by Deb Ford)
Dwyers Scrub Conservation Park is on the eastern fall of the Great Dividing Range approximately 30 kilometres south-west of Gatton. The Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service brochure describes the park thus: ‘The area of semi-evergreen vine forest in the north-eastern corner has very high conservation values. The tall to very tall open forest and woodland communities occurring over the remainder of the park contain species of significance as well as providing habitat for animals.’ A biological assessment of the park has identified 335 different plant species through the different ecosystems.
The drive from Toowoomba, via Flagstone Creek, was accompanied by a ‘snow storm’ of Caper White butterflies (Belenois java). On arrival at our destination we found a cloud of these insects surrounding a completely defoliated tree – probably Capparis arborea – on which many pupae were visible on the underside of the bare branches. Albert Orr and Robert Kitching, on p. 155 of their book, The Butterflies of Australia, inform the reader that ‘males flutter around groups of pupae and mate with females soon after they emerge’. This behaviour is probably what we were witnessing.
Eighteen Field Nats visited the endangered semi-evergreen vine forest in the north-eastern corner. We met on the road that dissects the park from the north-west to the eastern boundary where we were joined by Paul Stevens and Ken Kennedy, volunteers from Lockyer Uplands Catchment Inc. (LUCI) who have been working to remove weeds from the vine forest. A daunting task indeed: Cat’s Claw Creeper (
Fauna List (compiled by Al Young)
Bird List (Dwyer’s Scrub): Bar-shouldered Dove, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Eastern Yellow Robin, Eastern Whipbird, Grey Shrike-thrush, Cicadabird and Australasian Figbird.
|Caper Female Whhite (Photo: Al Young)r|
Bird List Other Areas (Stockyard Creek Road, Kennedy’s Road, East Egypt Road, Spinach Creek Road, Sawpit Gully Road.):
Crested Pigeon, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Pacific or Eastern Koel, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Gerygone, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Eastern Whipbird, Grey Shrike-thrush, Magpie Lark, Willie Wagtail, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Olive-backed Oriole, Australasian Figbird, Pied Butcherbird, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong and Torresian Crow.
Reptiles (Stockyard Creek Road): Common or Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) (road kill) and Common or Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata).
Mammals (Stockyard Creek Road): Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) and Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor).
Butterflies (Dwyers Scrub CP). There was a profusion of Caper White Butterflies (Belenois java) in most areas during the outing, including Dwyers Scrub CP. The larvae feed mainly on Capparis spp and they will often de-foliate their host plants as was the case in Dwyers Scrub. A tree (Capparis sp?) near the road was almost completely de-foliated and there were numerous pupae, mostly on the underside of the defoliated branches.
|Caper White pupae (close-up)|
[Photos by Al Young]