Our much-loved Hooded Plovers have been busy with nests located at Point Impossible, Point Roadknight and Moggs Creek, all with three eggs.
The vulnerable beach-nesting shorebirds have one of the lowest survival rates of any species with only 1 in every 100 chicks reaching flying age.
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said this year had been a particular struggle for the birds.
“The high tides and late spring storms have washed several nests away; however, we are continually seeing the determination of the hoodies with new nest attempts occurring shortly after.”
“Hoodies chicks and eggs are incredibly vulnerable for the first 65 days until they reach flying age. It is really important we all help raise awareness about the vulnerability of this species.
“Unfortunately, we cannot do anything about the natural disturbances from the weather, however people and dogs still pose one of the major threats to the hoodies survival.”
Ms Beale reminds the people to walk along the water’s edge, keep dogs on leads or out of breeding zones completely and stay clear of fenced areas along the beach.
The Great Ocean Road Coast has been working with BirdLife Australia and the Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast since 2006 to help protect the Surf Coast’s known Hooded Plover breeding sites which include the Point Roadknight, Moggs Creek and Point Impossible beaches.
In 2014 a new campaign to change beachgoer behaviour in known breeding zones was launched by Great Ocean Road Coast to encourage everyone to give the Hoodies space by keeping themselves and their dogs well away from nests.
“We have seen significant improvements in beachgoer behaviour and community awareness since the launch of the Save the Hoodie campaign, however we still need everyone to take note of all signs along the beach to give the birds the best chance of survival,” Ms Beale said.
The ‘Hoodies for Hoodies’ competition is on again with a Hoodie (the clothing kind) to be won every month until the end of January thanks to Ghanda Clothing Torquay.
Head to www.savethehoodie.com.au/win to enter and you can help continue to raise awareness.