When I began
my immersion into the parallel world of the Hoodies, I had seen the odd piece of beach signage referring to hooded plovers but had never actually seen a bird, despite being a surfer.
Plover to me meant spur-winged plover. I had a lot to learn about the beach I thought I knew. Now I understand how special these creatures are.
Over millions of years they have evolved the ability to survive solely on the strip of seaweed-strewn sand that divides the Great South land from the Southern Ocean. If any single entity defines the surf beach of southeastern Australia, it has to be the hooded plover.
I don’t want to watch it slide towards extinction if I can do something to help prevent it, and as long as Hoodies keep trying to live, I’ll keep trying to be their human ally.
~ John Murray - BirdLife Australia Volunteer, Friends of the Hooded Plover, Bellarine Peninsula
Why we need a plan
Beach-nesting birds are some of the most threatened birds in the world. As a community, we have a responsibility to support the survival of beach-nesting bird species. The hooded plover (Thinornis cucullatus cucullatus), locally know as “Hoodies”, is one such vulnerable species that lives and breeds on the surf beaches within the City of Greater Geelong.
Since 2006, the City, under the guidance of BirdLife Australia, has implemented a range of actions to protect the local Hoodies and support their community volunteers.
In 2013, the City facilitated the formation of a multi- representative working group, the Hooded Plover Working Group. Representatives from local coastal management agencies who manage hooded plover breeding areas make up the group. Our collective aim is to work towards National Recovery objectives developed by BirdLife Australia and to ensure a strategic approach toward all aspects of hooded plover management.
The working group includes: BirdLife Australia, Friends of the Hooded Plover (Bellarine and Breamlea), Barwon Coast Committee of Management, the Borough of Queenscliffe, Parks Victoria, Barwon Water and the City’s Environment and Local Laws Departments.
This Conservation Action Plan documents the objectives and actions the City is committed to in the local conservation of the hooded plover. This Hooded Plover Action Plan consolidates current actions and sets a framework to focus future activities to achieve the most good for this species.
This plan is intended to be a shared resource for the City, other agencies and volunteers who support the hooded plover program in the field.
This plan's policy context
It is the City’s intent to commit to the survival of the hooded plover, through the implementation of this Conservation Action Plan, from here on referred to as the Plan.
The Plan is guided by BirdLife Australia’s beach-nesting bird protocols in accordance with national and state threatened species legislation.
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
The EPBC Act is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places (Australian Government - Department of Environment, 2014). The hooded plover is listed as Vulnerable under this legislation.
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
The key piece of Victorian legislation for the conservation of threatened species and communities and for the management of potentially threatening processes (Department of Environment and Primary Industries, 2014). The hooded plover is listed as Vulnerable under this legislation.
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement Number
Action statements are a requirement under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The Hooded Plover Action Statement outlines research and actions to improve the likelihood of hooded plover species survival.
The City Plan 2018–22 – Putting Our Community First
The City Plan is the overarching strategic plan for City of Greater Geelong. It outlines how we will work towards making Greater Geelong a clever and creative city-region. One of the 11 strategic priorities is to ensure nature reserves, rural and coastal environments are preserved through the application of sustainable development principles.
The City’s Biodiversity Strategy 2003
This strategy highlights the role society must play to ensure the long-term survival of the diversity of species that inhabit our local environments, many of which are at threat from human activity and population growth. It prioritises no further species loss and promotes public awareness around biodiversity.
Bring together agencies, community groups and volunteers to work cooperatively to help the hooded plover species survive and thrive.
Provide encouragement, guidance and support to our local community and partners.
Do the most good
Assess and prioritise actions based on what is likely to be most beneficial.
Work only within our sphere of influence with an understanding of what we are capable of achieving.
Seek out specialised knowledge and data from BirdLife Australia and Hooded Plover Volunteers to guide decision-making.
Strive for best practice in decision-making, continuous improvement, action and reporting.
Evaluate and evolve
Practise adaptive management - measure, review and improve annually.