Tamborine Mountain is a popular place to live thanks to its pleasant climate, with temperatures on the average 4 degrees less than the lowlands, and generally good rainfall. This micro-climate also supports the local remnant sub-tropical rainforest, home to some rare and unusual flora and fauna, with a biodiversity comparable to that of nearby World Heritage listed areas. A significant proportion of the plateau and escarpment is National Park in Queensland.
South-East Queensland is developing at an astonishing rate and Tamborine Mountain seems like a small green island above a sea of housing. Its attractive rural/village and special environmental attributes are increasingly difficult to maintain, but there are steps that can be taken by residents to slow the loss of biodiversity.
Consideration for Wildlife
As human population density increases, wildlife comes under increased pressure. It is all too easy to discourage wildlife. Extensive land-clearing and walls/fences blocking established wildlife routes, poorly controlled cats and dogs, excessive noise and light, introduced weed species, careless driving - all have adverse effects on wildlife populations.
However, the less habitat damage we cause, and the more habitat we create, the better for local wildlife, and having come to Tamborine Mountain to live, you may be interested in encouraging local wildlife to make use of your property.
A not-too-tidy garden, densely planted with local native trees and plants is best for attracting wildlife, such as possums, microbats, bandicoots, assorted reptiles, perhaps even pademelons or wallabies. A frog pond is a great idea as well.
Birdlife on Tamborine Mountain is extensive. There are beautiful parrots, bold magpies, currawongs and butcherbirds, cheeky miners, bower birds, kookaburras, pigeons and numerous scrub-bird species, and, so far, no introduced pest bird species. Feeding native birds is a temptation, but it is not good for them, and can encourage the larger, more aggressive species to dominate your garden. One or more birdbaths strategically placed in a garden full of fruit and blossom bearing local plant species will attract a fascinating variety of birds.
If your garden becomes so wildlife-friendly that you find a snake, the kindest option is, of course, to leave it where it is. Never try to kill a snake, as they are protected, and you might be bitten. If you must remove a snake, call one of the local snake-catchers to relocate it for you. Not all snakes are dangerous, but some are endangered. A local snake identification book is available at Landcare’s Piccabeen Bookshop in North Tamborine.
When building on Tamborine Mountain you are required to have at least 31-32,000 litres of water storage. The mountain has underground interstitial aquifers, and though no study has been undertaken to discover its true extent, it is not considered a substantial resource. Whilst it is possible to repeatedly top up your tank by buying local bore-water, or to sink a bore yourself, be aware that the local environment also depends on that water. Tamborine Mountain’s groundwater is the source of seven different creeks in the district. Water conservation is being widely practiced throughout urban Australia and it should be no different here. Careful water use is always advisable.
Preserve the Dark
There is sometimes a call for more street lighting on Tamborine Mountain. Unfortunately, excessive ambient light at night disrupts the lifecycles and behaviours of many animal, bird and insect species.
Light pollution is increasing, but up here we can still see stars, glow worms and luminous fungi. It would be nice to keep it that way.
Any large eucalypt is virtually an ecosystem in its own right. Try to preserve these wherever possible – if necessary they can be carefully lopped. If a tree must be felled, placing nest boxes in nearby trees helps wildlife to relocate. But check local by-laws regarding tree clearing, and try to bear in mind that big old trees are not quickly replaced.
Extra wide guttering on your roof will both improve water catchment and be easier to clean, making nearby trees less of a problem.
Invasive Plant Species
There are many popular ornamental plant species that rapidly turn into highly invasive weeds. T.M. Landcare spends a large amount of time “weeding the Mountain” as a result of ill-informed garden planting in the past.
A list of weed species is available from T.M. Landcare.
Back in the ninety’s you could still find wallabies to feed at Eagle Heights. This is hardly possible today due to population growth and habitat loss.
So - we encourage you to reap the benefits of sharing your lifestyle with local wildlife. Consider the likely consequences to wildlife in the layout of your property. The challenge for us all now is to see how small a footprint we can make on the local environment.
Surveys have established that the preservation of the natural environment is the issue of highest priority to Tamborine Mountain residents.