On our coupe tour a few weeks ago, we visited only four of the nine coupes on the Timber Release Plan. This coming Sunday, we’ll try to visit the rest: Clog, Tallangalook Gully, Roger, Gyuana and Howe’s Creek. We know that at least three of these coupes, Roger, Guyana and Howe’s Creek, have high numbers of Greater Gliders.
The forest setting for our evening’s mothing.
Last November’s mothing in the Strathbogie State Forest was exciting. Not only was the weather near-perfect, the site was good, the audience was excited, Steve was his usual engaging self and the moths arrived in abundance. This activity was one of a series aimed at encouraging people to spend more time in the forest, explore, learn and develop a sense of belonging.
The site was along a forest track, adjacent to an area scheduled for logging. The surrounding forest sits at the wetter end of Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23) and slowly graded into Damp Forest along Parlours Creek. Messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua), Narrow-leaf Peppermint (E. radiata) and Southern Blue Gum (E. bicostata) dominate the canopy, with a dense understorey of Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), Dogwood (Cassinia aculeata), Victorian Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos), Musk Daisy-bush (Olearia argophylla).
Moths are a poorly known group of insects, but play a major ecological role in most ecosystems – they decompose enormous quantities of plant matter, helping to reduce fine fuels and build soil on the forest floor and they are a major source of food, both as caterpillars and adults, for numerous insectivorous animals. There are about 22,000 species of moth in Australia.
More than 40 species were recorded, including the spectacular Emperor and Helena Gum Moths, . At least one species appears to be undescribed. Continue reading