The Barwon coastline has five newly hatched hooded plover chicks.
The hooded plover is a threatened beach nesting bird that has the same conservation status as the black rhino.
“Two clutches of eggs were discovered by the Barwon Coast Reserve team who were pleased to announce that five chicks have hatched over the two sites,” Warren Chapman from Barwon Coast said.
One scrape is located between 16W-17W ocean side of the Ocean Grove spit, and the other scrape is located just west of the 30W first car park along 13th Beach Road.
Temporary exclusion zones, which are for wildlife protection, have been set up at both sites to give the chicks the best possible chance of survival. It is a time when the birds are susceptible to the threat of humans, dogs and natural predators, with the parents only ‘defence’ for the chicks is to have the chicks hide. Time put into hiding, means less time for feeding making the chicks weaker and more vulnerable.
Hooded plover chicks require rest and access to food more frequently than the adult birds, Barwon Coast’s Maddie Glynn said.
“A Temporary Exclusion Zone for Wildlife Protection is specifically that, for only five to six weeks; and there is no access permitted into that section of beach to allow the chicks to forage for the best chance of survival,” she said.
“If you are down the beach and approach an exclusion zone, please obey the directions on the signs by walking the other way.
“We congratulate the welcomed support of the community last summer where beach walkers respected the Temporary Exclusion Zone which allowed a hooded plover chick to thrive to flight, and encourage the same level of respect this time round.”