Did you know that without active management, Hooded Plovers (aka ‘hoodies’) only have a 2.5% chance of survival from egg to adult? Or that hoodies breed as a pair, with both male and female taking turns to incubate the eggs? Read more
Two Hooded Plover chicks at Moggs Creek have overcome all odds and taken flight, a feat made even more impressive given they were raised by a single dad.
Four vulnerable Hooded Plover chicks on the Surf Coast have fledged after surviving the dangerous 60 days to fledging since 2010.
The chicks’ mother perished in what is thought to have been a dog, fox or cat attack earlier in 2015, while their sibling was taken by a fox.
The Hooded Plovers have one of the lowest survival rate of any species in the world at 2.5% and are listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999.
Volunteers, Birdlife Australia staff and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) team worked tirelessly to protect the precious little family, attempting to protect them from the many threats these beach-nesting birds face.
The 2015 breeding season is still in full swing, with one three-week-old Hooded Plover chick still battling to survive at Point Roadknight.
‘Save the Hoodie’ campaign signs have been installed across the Surf Coast in breeding zones, urging beachgoers to stay well away from nests and keep dogs out of these areas.
Friends of the Hooded Plovers volunteer Margaret MacDonald is thankful to the community for their cooperation over the breeding season.
“The birds have had to learn to live with a lot of people around in the holiday season and it has been fantastic to see everyone taking more care around the nests.
“People have been responding well to the information and have been very supportive of the work we are doing to protect the Hooded Plovers,” Ms MacDonald said.
The volunteers patrol the breeding sites for a month before the eggs hatch and then increase patrols 30 days after hatching to protect the chicks from predators.
“The chicks would not have survived without the volunteers support so it’s a great achievement by all.
This article was published in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.
For information about how to save of precious Hooded Plovers click here.
Have you entered the Save the Hoodie comptetition yet? Times running out! For more details click here
‘Seal the Loop’ bins are to be installed at Moggs Creek and Eastern View fishing locations to encourage proper disposal of fishing waste and reduce threats to marine life.
Zoo’s Victoria, in partnership with Melbourne Zoo Community, have donated three Seal the Loop bins to the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) after the popular fishing spots were identified as litter hot spots.
Conservation Officer Danielle Knox said incorrectly discarded fishing waste can be mistaken as food and ingested by wildlife which can be passed on to their young and result in injury or death.
“30 species of marine animals including seabirds, turtles, whales, dolphins and sharks are listed as ‘at risk’ of injury and fatality caused by ingestion of, or entanglement in, harmful marine debris,” she said.
Seal the Loop bins are already installed in Lorne, Torquay and Anglesea and research shows the bins are helping in the fight to reduce marine wildlife entanglement rates.
According to Zoo’s Victoria, a 2013 study revealed that 56% of coast users who came across a Seal the Loop bin changed their waste disposal behaviour as a result.
GORCC Outdoor Works Supervisor Phil Brown said litter was an ongoing issue on the coast.
“The litter ends up back in the ocean where it can harm both marine life and beachgoers,” he said.
While GORCC staff undertake regular beach clean ups, litter remains a problem, particularly in more popular fishing areas.
“The new bin locations have been chosen based on popular fishing spots where litter has been identified as an issue,” Mr. Brown said.
Ms Knox urged community members and local anglers to take care when disposing of fishing waste.
“If there is not a Seal the Loop bin in your area, you can ask your local council to sign up for a bin which are offered free of charge to any organisation, council or group who agree to install and maintain them,” she said.
If you notice any injured or distressed marine wildlife, please call the AGL Marine Response Unit team on 0447 158 676.
For further information regarding Seal the Loop bins, including a bin registration form visit http://www.zoo.org.au/sealtheloop.
If you would like to become involved in the 2014 Seal the Loop Action Day to be held November 14, email Danielle Knox at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up to date by searching #sealtheloop on Twitter @zoosvictoria.
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Sightings of the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot have buoyed conservation volunteers after images of the species were caught on remote sensor cameras between Anglesea and Aireys Inlet in recent months.
Environmental volunteers from the Friends of Eastern Otways group sighted a Southern Brown Bandicoot in June this year.
Volunteer Kaye Traynor said volunteers observed the rare species, which breed between June and December, during daylight hours in the Moggs Creek heathlands.
In a bid to protect and improve coastal biodiversity, the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has been using remote motion sensor cameras to monitor what species are using coastal habitats in the region.
The cameras – set up at sites in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet – were successful in capturing images of the species on two occasions about three months ago.
Corangamite CMA Biodiversity Manager Nick McCristal said “the cameras are moved through a range of biodiversity projects throughout the CMA region and capture a variety of species.”
Mr. McCristal said the use of remote sensing cameras was a relatively recent addition to the program, as the technology has become less expensive and more reliable.
“The cameras are placed in locations that we believe animals will utilise, such as pathways and water holes and are activated by a motion sensor as fauna moves past,” he said.
Ms Traynor said protection of habitat was very important as well as keeping pets, especially cats and dogs under control.
“Fox predation is also a serious problem,” she said.
Southern Brown Bandicoots are listed as nationally endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
What does the Southern Brown Bandicoot look like?
- The southern brown bandicoot is a medium sized marsupial about the same size as a small rabbit
- Has pointed snout, small eyes, rounded ears, compact body, large rump and a thinly furred short, thin tail approximately half of the body length.
- Fur is coarse, greyish or yellowish brown above with a whitish belly
The DSE factsheet has included a detailed description on the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
For more information visit the Australian Government website.
Threats to the survival of bandicoots:
The major current threats to bandicoots are predation, primarily by foxes but also by dogs and cats, and loss of habitat by clearing of vegetation which removes patches where they can live and limits their capacity to move between remaining patches.
What the community can do to protect the endangered species:
The Department of Sustainability and Environment said on their fact sheet there are a number of things the community can do including:
- Controlling foxes on your property
- Creating new habitat or improving remaining patches by planting appropriate indigenous understory species
- Considering staged weed removal and replacing weeds with appropriate native plants
- Linking patches of habitat with corridors
- Keeping cats and dogs under control at all times
If you are interested in joining a volunteer group to protect the endangered species then visit Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) volunteer group and opportunities page.
For information on what is involved with coastal volunteering visit GORCC’s volunteer page.
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