Council is seeking public feedback on a new plan aimed at protecting the highly threatened hooded plover.
The draft Hooded Plover Conservation Action Plan 2018-2021 is open for community comment at geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay.
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 – 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 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,” said Cr Sarah Mansfield, Chair, Environment and Sustainability portfolio.
“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 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.