8 January 2014
Twenty one Hooded Plover Chicks have died in the Mornington Peninsula National Park
The Hooded Plover breeding season on the Mornington Peninsula is more than halfway completed. Since it’s start in October 2013, there have been 33 nesting attempts, 85 eggs laid and 21 chicks hatched. All of these chicks have died. The 2013/14 breeding season for Hooded Plovers in the Mornington Peninsula National Park is shaping up to be the worst in the last decade.
Sadly this is expected on the Mornington Peninsula. For a number of years, over 90 % of breeding attempts in the Mornington Peninsula National Park have failed. During the 2011/2012 breeding season, there were around 137 eggs laid with only three chicks surviving. That’s a failure rate of 98%
For the 2013/14 season, the failure rate is currently 100%
Hooded Plovers mostly nest on ocean beaches and one of the biggest known threats to Hooded Plover chicks is domestic dogs. Dog walkers on beaches frequently allow their dogs to roam off lead, which not only causes stress to Hooded Plover chicks but last year two volunteers watched a Labrador run down and kill a Hooded Plover chick.
Parks Victoria has spent the last three years and thousands of dollars reviewing dog walking in the Mornington Peninsula National Park but unfortunately for Hooded Plovers, dogs are still allowed in the National Park and more importantly, on beaches where Hooded Plovers nest.
There are fewer than 600 Hooded Plovers left in Victoria.
0403 997 831
08 January 2014