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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Powerful Owl Habitat threatened in Moreton Bay Area 11/03/2014

There has been recent verified sightings of a Powerful Owl Family, including two juveniles that have bred in the area intended for destruction in the Moreton Bay/Petrie area.

Our friends at The Moreton Bay Eco Alliance & Petrie Bushcare Group have been working non-stop to try and save a precious area of Wildlife Habitat in their area which is threatened by a planned 4 lane highway through the environmental area planned by Moreton Bay Council.  Local residents would like to see an alternative option (Option B) voted for instead of the one proposed. (Option G).  Concerned citizens of Australia can voice their concerns by signing the online petition here:  NO TO OPTION G (WEST PETRIE BYPASS)

Powerful Owls frequent the Area of the planned West Petrie Bypass and were confirmed to be breeding in this area last year.  (Image Credit: wikepedia.org)
Further information about this planned road and environment destruction can be found on the Dayboro Grapevine in a recent article published here.  This information is taken from the mentioned article:

Ian Bell is a core member and researcher of the Moreton Bay Eco-Alliance, an alliance of 12 voluntary community groups right across the Moreton Bay Council region.  This group is opposing Moreton Bay Regional Council’s decision to bulldoze a major arterial road, known as West Petrie Bypass Option G, through the middle of a large and vitally important area of bushland that includes three reserves:  Lawrie Smith Gardens, Dave Burton Park and Kurwongbah Park.  The project involves a road and bridges to connect Young’s Crossing to Torrens Road which runs beside Lake Kurwongbah. 
Mr Bell says this area is a significant habitat for Koalas, which are facing possible extinction in this region, and is also home to 150 species of birds, several native animals and some significant cultural and historical sites.  
“This major road will probably be the final blow for several special and at-risk species including Koalas, Platypus and Glider Possums.  The Square-Tailed Kite, Grey Goshawk and Green Thighed Frog, which are all classified in Queensland as near threatened, have been recorded in this area.  There have also been recently verified sightings of a Powerful Owl family, including two juveniles which were bred here.  Like the Koala, Powerful Owls are officially listed in Queensland as a threatened species – vulnerable category.  This rare evidence of a Powerful Owl family, including breeding, is of extreme importance, just as it is for the Koala” he said.
“Similarly there are a number of species which have been sited within this area that are mentioned in one of council’s consultant’s reports (GHD) as being relevant under the Commonwealth’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.  These include the Koala, Grey-headed Flying-fox, Red Goshawk and Black-faced Monarch.”

For More information visit Moreton Bay Eco-Alliance and Petrie Bushcare Group on Facebook.  (N.B. you do not need to be a member of Facebook to view their information - the pages can be viewed just as you would a website.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spotted Harrier at last

For years I have enjoyed watching this stunning bird of prey fly low across the country paddocks and grass fields.  I have witnessed it pick up baby rabbits and watched it perch on a fence post right in front of me when I am without my camera.  This same bird I believe travels quite some distance and it has visited our patch which is close-by to where I saw it today many times.  As I didn't take these photos at our place, I have added them to the beyond blog.  This bird that moves quickly and has never let me take a decent photo, has become known as my nemesis, however I delight in seeing it regularly.  On this day, it perched long enough on the fence for me to take a couple of poor photos on my little handbag camera while stopped on the side of the road.  I am thrilled to confirm that it is in fact a Spotted Harrier (which I always suspected it was) but up until now I hadn't been confident to identify it as that.  Poor photos I know, but I had to add them in any case!  J

Spotted Harrier

Spotted Harrier