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Bass Coast,
26
May
2017
|
08:18
Australia/Melbourne

Good work this year Hoodies

Stephen+Johnson+of+Friends+of+the+Hooded+Plover+%28Bass+Coast%29%2C+with+a+freshly+banded+chick.+Photo+courtesy+of+Stephen+Johnson.

The Hooded Plover breeding season has once again come to an end and the results are worth celebrating with improvements on previous years! Thank you to all residents and visitors who considered the needs of these special little birds while enjoying the beaches of Bass Coast.

This year we had a total of 134 known nests from 50 Hooded Plover breeding pairs across Bass Coast. This included all the foreshores managed by Bass Coast Shire Council, Parks Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks. Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, explains that it takes a combined effort from all land managers to ensure the best chance of survival for the Hooded Plovers.

“From the 134 known nests, Hooded Plovers laid 301 eggs. Over the early part of the season the Hoodies had to deal with unusually persistent high tides with large swell which contributed to nests being washed away,” Cr Rothfield said.

“When the weather calmed down, some nests still failed due to a number of reasons. Foxes and ravens were the main cause on the mainland beaches, while on Phillip Island bad weather, a dog, a water rat, and raven or magpie caused nests to fail.”

“Of the 301 eggs laid, 53 eggs hatched and only 23 chicks made it to the flying stage. This might sound disappointing, but compared to some previous years, it is a great result.”

Once the eggs have hatched, Hoodies have a relatively good survival rate. However, keeping the eggs safe from predators, environmental threats and human interference is a challenge. There is much involved in managing the threats to this vulnerably listed species. It takes patience and dedication from our tireless volunteers, and understanding from beach users. This year, most beach users were fantastic, taking care when visiting our precious coast.

“Special thanks go to the volunteers from Hooded Plover Watch and Friends of the Hooded Plover (Bass Coast) for so enthusiastically giving up their time to patrol the beaches, monitor the progression of the birds and record data. We couldn’t do it without you,” Cr Rothfield said.

If you are interesting in getting involved with a volunteer group in regards to the Hooded Plovers or any other foreshore activities please contact Council’s Coast and Bushland Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or via email environment@basscoast.vic.gov.au.