Hooded Plovers nesting in Bass Coast
It’s Spring and the hooded plovers’ breeding season has started with new nests being built across Bass Coast beaches. Beach users can help by providing plenty of space and respecting the wildlife refuge areas.
As many people may know, the Hooded Plover is a vulnerable species in Australia and endangered in Victoria. Due to the breeding habits of these birds it is very easy for them to be disturbed by people and their pets, without the people even knowing.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, explained that our beaches provide the ideal home for Hooded Plovers.
“In Bass Coast, we are fortunate to have stretches of well preserved natural coastline; the perfect environment for these vulnerable beach nesting birds,”Cr Rothfield said.
“It’s important we all do our bit to make sure we are protecting our precious Hooded Plovers.”
Bass Coast Shire Council’s Manager Sustainable Environment, Deirdre Griepsma, said the good news is there are a few easy steps people can take to help these birds out.
"Hooded Plovers are extremely well adapted to living on the beach. They nest in the foredunes and forage at the water line on a variety of food, such as sand hoppers, molluscs, insects, worms and seeds from aquatic plants,” Ms Griepsma said.
“The Hooded Plovers especially like the south facing ocean coastlines. However, recently the birds have started to move back to beaches on the shores of Westernport, such as Ventnor, Red Rocks, Cowes and Silverleaves, which haven’t been used as breeding sites for many years.”
There are also active nesting sites at Screw Creek and Abbott Street (Inverloch foreshore), The Oaks, Cape Paterson and Kilcunda.
People can help the Hooded Plovers have a successful breeding season by undertaking the following:
• Avoid using beaches known to be used for Hooded Plover breeding
• Walk close to the water’s edge
• Keep an eye out for and obey signage and barriers put up for the protection of the birds
• Keep your dog on a leash at all times and off the beach during ‘no dogs’ times. For details on restrictions, please see the website www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/dogwalking.
• If you wish to let your dog run free, please use the designated off-leash areas that are around the Shire.
• Report any incidents to 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211