Volunteer saves injured Hoodie

A Hooded Plover’s life has been saved thanks to the quick thinking of a dedicated volunteer and the assistance of Birdlife Australia and a local vet.

Hooded Plover KM gets treated for its injuries.
Hooded Plover KM gets treated for its injuries.

The bird, known as ‘KM’, was found with severe injuries near Point Roadknight recently with a yellow fibre cutting of circulation to its leg.

Volunteer Hooded Plover Monitor Geoff Gates noticed the bird was limping between a flock of about six other plovers.

“I knew the bird’s leg was swollen and had something constricting the blood flow to the foot and I thought the most probable cause was fishing line,” he said.

Birdlife Australia Beach-nesting Birds Program Manager Grainne Maguire said she carefully separated the bird from its flock and local vet, Liz Brown, was called in to assist.

“Liz used a pair of fine scissors and carefully removed the fibre which was twisted and embedded around the ankle.

“She applied anti-fungal cream on the wound and gave the bird a shot of antibiotics,” she said.

Local vet, Liz Brown, removes the yellow fibre caught around KM's leg.
Local vet, Liz Brown, removes the yellow fibre caught around KM’s leg.

“Two volunteers have since reported KM is moving about normally and seems to be doing well but we’ll be monitoring the wound closely over the coming month to ensure there’s no infection and that it’s healing properly.”

Litter, including fishing line, poses danger to beach nesting birds and other coastal and marine wildlife and beachgoers are being urged to do their bit and keep our coast clean.

“The main way we can minimize entanglements is to ensure we bin our litter, especially fishing line,” Ms Maguire said.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Conservation Officer Georgina Beale said some of the dead seals and birds that wash up on the coast have swallowed or been strangled by plastic bags, fishing line, bits of nets and other rubbish.

“Please use the bins located in grassed foreshore areas and adjacent to sand areas to dispose of litter,” she said.

Hooded Plovers are endangered in Victoria and are vulnerable to a wide range of threats including a range of predators.

You can help to ensure their survival by getting hands on and becoming a volunteer monitor.

Volunteer monitors log sightings, track the movements of individual birds and follow their breeding progress over the season, logging information into the My Hoodie Data Portal.

“The portal is being used by several hundred volunteers and we have over 2000 sightings in it so far,” Ms Maguire said.

To learn more about the Hooded Plover monitor, email hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au.

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

KM's banded leg entangled in the unknown yellow fibre.
KM’s banded leg entangled in the unknown yellow fibre.

Find out more about volunteering along the coast on GORCC’s website.

Find out more about protecting our endangered Hooded Plovers on the GORCC website, or read the related blog posts below.

Related blog posts:

p91904411Hoodie monitors go hi-tech
hooded-plover-photo-taken-by-dean-ingwersen2An update on our little ‘Hoodies’
1 Precious babies on our beaches
11492_hooded-plover-chicks-pt-roadnight1Protecting our endangered locals

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