How People Power Is Helping Humble Hooded Plover

Parks Victoria

Key Points:

  • Each summer dedicated volunteers keep a watchful eye on nesting Hooded Plovers and their chicks right along Victoria’s coastline.
  • Hooded Plovers are listed as a vulnerable species, around 700 individuals are left in Victoria.
  • Parks Victoria works with volunteer groups and other organisations to increase the survival of Hooded Plover chicks.
  • Beach-goers can assist by keeping well clear of nests, walking along the waterline, and keeping dogs on a leash where signposted.

There are few birds which have created as much outpouring of community support as the determined, yet vulnerable, Hooded Plover.

These plucky little beach birds have the survival odds stacked against them from the very beginning, but with the help of dedicated volunteer groups along Victoria’s coastline, there’s hope for the Hooded Plover yet.

Hooded Plover close up.

Photo: The Hooded Plover is an endangered beach-nesting bird found right along Victoria’s coastline. Photo credit: Mark Lethlean.

Armed with signs, stakes and rope, volunteer members of the Friends of Hooded Plover groups, along with land managers like Parks Victoria mark out areas where ‘hoodies’ are found to be nesting.

Mark Lethlean, the President of the Friends of the Hooded Plover Mornington Peninsula volunteer group, said summer was always the most challenging time of year – not only are the plovers nesting and raising their young, but beaches are at their busiest.

“We know that as soon as a chick has fledged, it’s survival rate skyrockets,” Mark said.

“However, that’s the part of the problem when volunteering with the hoodies – it’s so easy to get excited when there’s a new chick, but in all likelihood, the mortality rate is so high, that when I go to check on them, I’m not expecting them to still be there.”

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