Three vulnerable Hooded Plover chicks have hatched at Point Impossible over the weekend, making them the first chicks to hatch on the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) managed land this year.
GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale urges beachgoers to take extra caution this summer to help give the hoodie chicks the best chance of survival.
“Humans and dogs pose a major threat to the survival of Hooded Plover chicks as hoodie parents and chicks can become too frightened to feed.
“It is important beachgoers obey all signs and fences in breeding areas and walk close to the water’s edge.
“We also advise dog owners to keep dogs out of breeding zones or on leashes at all times to help give the hoodies the best chance of survival,” she said.
Chicks are vulnerable for the first five weeks until they reach flying age as they are unable to escape predators and threats.
Two more nests are located at Point Roadknight, both with three eggs, all due to hatch in the middle of January.
Unfortunately foxes attacked the nest at Moggs Creek and all three eggs were lost.
Fences and signs have been placed in known hoodie breeding zones to help keep people and dogs away from nests.
Without active management, Hooded Plovers have only a 2.5% chance of survival from egg to adult.
To find out more about how you and your dog can help protect the hoodies visit www.savethehoode.com.au