Geelong local Noah Crone has taken out this year’s #SaveTheHoodie major prize, generously donated by Go Ride A Wave.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) annual competition aims to encourage beachgoers to support the survival of the vulnerable Hooded Plover and give their chicks space during the busy summer breeding period.
Local businesses have supported this year’s competition, donating prizes which included monthly “hoodies for hoodies” from Ghanda and a Learn to Surf package with a full length 3/2 wetsuit by Go Ride A Wave.
The year 7 Saint Ignatius student said he was thrilled to win this year’s major #SaveTheHoodie prize and said he came across the competition when researching coast care opportunities along the Great Ocean Road.
“I found it really interesting how the Hooded Plovers nest in the same areas every year and are particularly fussy about where they breed,” he said.
Beachgoers and community members were asked to help spread the word by sharing the official ‘Hamish the Hoodie’ image on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SaveTheHoodie.
The youngster shared the official image on his Instagram account, joking with his mother that he was going to win a hoodie for winter, and was ‘over the moon’ to find out he won the major prize.
The Save the Hoodie campaign was launched in December 2014 to encourage community action in the protection of vulnerable Hooded Plovers, with a particular focus on keeping dogs away from breeding zones
GORCC has been working to ensure the survival of the precious chicks with support from Bird Life Australia, volunteers, the Surf Coast Shire and other partners which has helped see three chicks survive this breeding season.
GORCC Chief Executive Officer Richard Davies said he was delighted with the communities’ support during the 2015-16 breeding period.
“Our conservation team has observed a notable difference in beachgoer behaviour during this year’s campaign following greater community awareness about the birds.
“The results from this year’s campaign are highly encouraging and we would like to extend a big thank you to all the volunteers, local businesses and community members who have helped spread the word and supported this cause,” he said.
For more information on Hooded Plovers and the local Surf Coast campaign, visit www.savethehoodie.com.au or www.birdlife.org.au/projects/beach-nesting-birds.