Otway Coast Committee

Committed to Sustainable Management

22nd Nov. 2012 - Hooded Plovers

State Count:

The Statewide biennial count of Hooded Plovers was conducted on November 10th & 11th.

On behalf of the count coordinators, Birdlife Australia, the OCC would like to thank all our local volunteers for their efforts.  Hopefully when the count is collated we find that all the hard work across the state to improve the Hoodies breeding chances has again paid off and we have more Hoodies statewide than we did two years ago.

Local Hoodies:

We currently have three nesting pairs at our two nesting sites; Wild Dog Beach and near the mouth of the Barham River.

The OCC have installed fencing and signage to alert beach users that vulnerable birds are nesting nearby.

Everyone is asked to follow the signage directions, ie

• Don't enter fenced areas;

• Keep dogs on leads at all times;

• Walk at the water's edge;

• Do not stop when near fenced areas.

Hoodies are easily disturbed when incubating eggs and will leave the nest when people, dogs and other threats come within 70-100m of the nest; and will stay off the nest until the threat is gone.  Eggs can easily fail when it is too hot or too cold.

That is why to give Hoodies the best chance possible we ask people to keep clear and don't stop in the vicinity of nesting areas.

Fox Trapping:

Foxes present a real threat to nesting Hoodies and other coastal fauna.  Last year a nest camera at one of the Barham River nest sites recorded a fox taking the eggs.

Now that we are in the Hooded Plover breeding season and also fox breeding season, the OCC is again undertaking its soft jaw fox trapping program.

Sites near the Barham River, Wild Dog Creek beach and Petticoat Creek currently have traps set.  Signs alerting people to the traps are present and everyone, especially dog owners, are requested to stay on established paths and keep their dogs on leads when in these areas.

The traps do not cause injury to animals and can be easily removed should a domestic animal stray into them.  If you require assistance the phone number of an OCC staff member is on the signage at the sites.