Wonthaggi,
20
January
2017
|
05:01
Australia/Melbourne

Summer’s here and so are the Hoodies

Fledging+of+Hooded+Plover+Chicks.++Photo+courtesy+of+wildlife+photographer%2C+Kim+Wormald

We’re half way through summer and finally getting some great weather, so while the crowds are flocking to the beaches please remember they are home to one of our most vulnerable beach nesting birds, the Hooded Plover.

There is nothing quite like enjoying a hot summers day down at the beach, whether it’s just enjoying the sun and the sand, splashing by the water’s edge or some beach cricket with mates.

We all have different ways of unwinding and relaxing but please remember while you are enjoying yourself care-free there are other beach users that can find this time very stressful.

It’s breeding time for the Hooded Plovers and they need all the help they can get.

While they are quite small and can go relatively unnoticed it is very easy for them to be disturbed by people and their pets without the people even realising.

There are nesting enclosures set up for the birds at many of our beaches; however this isn’t the only space they need.

Hoodies need to get themselves and their chicks to the water’s edge to feed so they can successfully raise a family.

For now, we have some great news from Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Pamela Rothfield.

“We have recently had a fledging of two chicks out at Cape Paterson – the first one for the season for Bass Coast,” Cr Rothfield said.

“We also have some promising chicks on the beaches in Cowes, which still need our help to make it all the way.”

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

There are many people working hard over the summer period to assist breeding success of the Hooded Plover. This includes volunteers from Friends of the Hooded Plover – Bass Coast and Hooded Plover Watch, and land managers including Bass Coast Shire Council, Phillip Island Nature parks and Parks Victoria.

It would be great if beach users could also act to help the survival of this endangered species.