Protecting the Hooded Plover

Friday, 12 October 2018

Council is seeking public feedback on a new plan aimed at protecting the highly threatened bird species, the hooded plover.

The draft Hooded Plover Conservation Action Plan 2018-2021 is open for community comment for the next six weeks.

Have your say here

It outlines a series of actions designed to improve the breeding success of hooded plovers, which nest on the beaches along two sections of coastline managed by the City – one at Breamlea, and the other between Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale.

The plan’s overall goal is to achieve an annual success rate of at least 0.4 to 0.5 fledglings per breeding pair.

It sets out to do this by:

  • Raising awareness about hooded plovers;
  • Applying a collaborative, strategic approach towards hooded plover breeding protection;
  • Supporting BirdLife Australia staff and volunteers; and
  • Managing threats to hooded plover breeding efforts.

The plan is the first of its kind, but continues the City’s efforts to protect the iconic birds, dating back to 2006.

This included the formation of the Hooded Plover Working Group in 2013, which brought together a range of organisations with an interest in the birds’ conservation.

The working group features representatives from 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.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:

There are a range of factors that are affecting hooded plovers, including pest animals, increases in population resulting in more people and dogs on beaches, introduced plant species, and changes in habitat from new developments.

The City of Greater Geelong has done some great work for the past 12 years to protect the hooded plover from these threats, under the guidance of BirdLife Australia.

This plan will allow us to focus our efforts even further, and will also help us collaborate strategically with the many other groups who can influence these important birds’ survival.

Cr Sarah Mansfield, Chair, Environment and Sustainability portfolio:

The hooded plover is a special bird, but it’s also an unfortunate bird in that its breeding grounds are very sensitive, and under threat from human activities. This is putting their long-term survival as a species at serious risk.

There are many very passionate volunteers who try to protect the areas where hooded plovers breed, but I’d like to think we would do as much as we possibly can as a community to preserve them. This plan will help set a unified direction for doing that.

The draft is available for community comment, so I’d encourage everyone with an interest in the survival of the hooded plover to log on and provide feedback.