Otway Coast Committee

Committed to Sustainable Management

22nd Jan. 2013 - Hooded Plovers, Paint your own Hoodie Shoulder Bag, 'Seal the Loop' Waste Fishing Line Bins

Great news at Wild Dog Creek; the two chicks, that hatched in late November have graduated to Fledglings, i.e. they have begun to fly.  Now they can fly their chance of survival to adulthood is greatly improved.

On their behalf, a big thankyou to our volunteer monitors Judi Forrester, Ros Jamieson, Richard Stone and Nola Hardess.  It is their regular updates back to OCC and in completing the online monitoring reports for Birdlife Australia that helps so much with our efforts to manage threats to these vulnerable birds that nest on sandy beaches only at the busiest time of the year.

To help the Hoodies 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, i.e.

• 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.

Similarly chicks will hide and not eat for extended periods if people are within 100-150 metres; the result is they can easily starve to death.  Unlike many chicks they are not fed by their parents but must find their own food to enable their phenomenal growth during their path to fledging.

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

Paint your own Hoodie shoulder bag

OCC will be on the foreshore this Saturday, with other environmental groups, as part of the Colac Otway Shire Australia Day celebrations.  We will have plenty of information on the Hoodies and everyone is welcome to come and paint your own FREE hoodie calico shoulder bag.

'Seal the Loop': waste fishing line bins

Each year countless marine mammals, birds and fish species are injured, permanently maimed or killed by fishing line discarded by recreational anglers.  Melbourne Zoo in response to this problem, that in particular is a real threat to the seals that live on our coast, have developed the 'Seal the Loop' program, that supplies waste fishing line bins to coastal managers.  OCC have obtained 4 of the bins and installed them at Marengo, Wild Dog Creek, Skenes Creek and Wye River.  If you are an angler or just a beach walker and you have or find fishing line on the beach please use the bins where provided.  The Zoo have an ongoing monitoring program that records the amount of line collected and OCC will participate in that program.  The results are used to get further funding for more bins; so the more we use the bins the better off our marine life will be.