See You Next Time Hoodies!
The Hooded Plover breeding season has once again come to an end.
Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said while the results were somewhat mixed, there was some success.
“This year we had a total of 84 known nest sites across Bass Coast, including in Council, Parks Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks managed foreshores. It takes a combined effort from all land managers to ensure the best chance of survival for the Hooded Plovers,” Cr Brown said.
“From the 84 known nest sites we had over 200 eggs laid. This included two four-egg nests, which are quite uncommon; one was found at Inverloch and the other at Berrys Beach. Usually, nests only contain two to three eggs.”
Over the season, the Hoodies encountered abnormally persistant high tides with large swell which contributed to nests being washed away.
Due to these weather conditions and predators, only 40 chicks hatched of which 50 per cent went on to fledge (fly).
Once the eggs have hatched they have a relatively good survival rate. The challenging part is keeping the eggs safe from predators, environmental threats and human interference.
“We would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s season, and thank you to all residents and visitors who considered the needs of these special birds while enjoying the beaches of Bass Coast,” Cr Brown said.
“A special thanks goes to the volunteers from Hooded Plover Watch and Friends of the Hooded Plover for so enthusiastically giving up their time to patrol the beaches, monitor the progression of the birds and record data.”
This season may have gone relatively well, but the next season, beginning in November, will be just as important. Across the state, the breeding season was not as good as in Bass Coast; in fact this bird species was listed as Vulnerable only a few months ago.
This means the species will now receive additional protection, but unfortunately is a sign that the population is low enough to trigger this Vulnerable status.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.