Plover message hits the road

Cr Andy Richards and project officer Rebecca Koostra with the buses. 149446

TWO Geelong buses are taking the important hooded plover message to the streets with new signage this month.
Featuring a photo of a hooded plover chick, the message is clear: “I need a little space to raise my family”.
Councillor Andy Richards, portfolio holder for Environment and Sustainability, said this was another way the council could spread the message to look out for “hoodies”.
“The Bellarine Peninsula has the last major population of hooded plovers until Warrnambool,” he said.
“So it is actually a national priority to protect this threatened species.”
Residents can help hooded plovers survive by being aware of beach signage and following dog regulations at all times between August and April.
The birds lay their eggs in a small scratching in the sand.
Once hatched, chicks need to get to the water’s edge to feed, but they won’t do this if people or dogs are nearby.
“We’ve only had one chick reach the flying stage this season,” environmental project officer Rebecca Koostra said.
“So we really need our community’s help in being aware of the hoodies and giving them the space they need for survival.”
The City of Greater Geelong is running a competition to raise awareness of the hoodies.
Locals can enter before 2 February to win a $100 voucher. Find out more at www.geelongaustralia.com.au

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