Nine Hooded Plover Chicks die in the Mornington Peninsula National Park

Press Release

10 November 2013

Nine Hooded Plover Chicks have died in the Mornington Peninsula National Park

The Hooded Plover breeding season on the Mornington Peninsula has been underway since mid October 2013. It is expected to continue for another four months, (March 2014).

Unfortunately, so far this season, nine (9) Hooded Plover chicks have died in the Mornington Peninsula National Park. This breeding season, on the Mornington Peninsula, no Hooded Plover chicks have fledged. Most of the nine chicks have died within the first week of their life.

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% !

However, these figures are now being questioned by members of the public and more importantly, by volunteers monitoring Hooded Plovers on the Mornington Peninsula.

A new online database being used by dozens of volunteers, is suggesting the results are worse than has been stated in the past. Previously, those people interested in monitoring Hooded Plovers, were in the most part reliant on Parks Victoria to provide the results but a new on line data base, known as the MyHoodie Data Portal, indicates the Hooded Plover breeding failure rate could be much worse.

The MyHoodie Data Portal was put together by BirdLife Australia and allows registered volunteers to record what is happening on beaches all over South Eastern Australia, including the Mornington Peninsula.

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.

Malcolm Brown

@malbrown2

10 November 2013

First deaths for the summer

At least two, recently hatched Hooded Plover chicks, have disappeared from a beach at Rye in the Mornington Peninsula National Park. They are most likely dead.

Parks Victoria allow dogs on this beach and most people walk their dogs off lead. The chicks have been missing for around a week. There are fewer than 600 Hooded Plovers left in Victoria.

The survival of this threatened species in this National Park is a indicator of the effectiveness of Parks Victoria in managing our states natural resources.

Image

Morn Pen National Park 2012 – 2013 summer

It’s been a while since the end of the Hooded Plover breeding season and there has been no official feedback from Parks Victoria or analysis of the results. That’s not surprising.

The last HP breeding season on the Mornington Peninsula was significant due to the very unfortunate but direct observation of a dog killing a Hooded Plover chick at Point King (not a PV managed beach). We now have direct evidence to demonstrate that “dogs kill Hooded Plover chicks”.

The following are estimates only, until Parks Victoria show the initiative to show transparency of their management:

HP failure rate 06 - 13

 

My analysis of the2012-13 season portal

Message from Diane Lewis

To all members and friends

Yesterday, Tamara from PV was able to report that another 2 chicks have fledged.

9 chicks now have fledged on the Mornington Peninsula.
Wonderful news.
There is only one active nest now and that is at Bushrangers Bay.
The birds are now flocking at Franklin Rd and St Andrew’s Beach so looks like the breeding season has finished.
BUT
Still worth keeping our eyes open, not all the birds are flocking yet so some may attempt to have another nest.
Today we say goodbye to Tamara  – Parks Victoria’s hooded plover summer ranger.
Tamara has been walking our beaches for last three months.
She has visited each chick daily, found nests,erected temporary fences,checked and updated signs, put out shelters and moved banners along the beach as adult hoodies move their chicks.
You have done a great job Tamara
Good luck with your  studies this year and we all look forward to seeing you on our beaches again next season.
 
Diane
Friends of the Hooded Plover
Mornington Peninsula inc
 

Hooded Plover Chick Status, Mornington Peninsula NP

It has been a few weeks since the last update on Hooded Plover chicks in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

One of the St Andrews Beach chicks died but fortunately the other fledged. As the breeding season gets closer to ending, there is a high likelihood more chicks will fledge this season than the last.

There is also a good chance a chick may fledge at Koonya Beach, Blairgowrie. There are a number of active volunteers who monitor birds on this beach and I’m sure we all agree, it would be great if they were rewarded with a brand new fully grown Hooded Plover. Keep your fingers crossed.

There are still some birds on nests which means more chicks are possible.

Below is a map indicating the location and number of chicks currently in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

 

Chicks on Morn Pen 2013

St Andrews Chicks 24 days old and there’s more

The two St Andrews Chicks situated at the end of Moana Court, St Andrews (Mornington Peninsula) are at least 24 days old and looking good.

But there’s more. There are five chicks at Gunnamatta from two nests, there is one chick at Koonya and two chicks nearby the Rye car park.

In all on the Mornington Peninsula, there are currently eleven (11) chicks, (including the Montforts chick that fledged).

Below is a picture of the area where the Moana Court chicks can be found. All being well they could fledge in 10 days, (fingers crossed).

 

Pano_St Andrews Moana Crt (East) 1

 

Montforts chicks fledge,(and Black Rock, Breamlea)

You can never give up on Hooded Plovers.

Despite all the things that could have gone wrong for this little bird at Montforts beach, it still managed to fledge.

Good news for this area of the Mornington Peninsula, considering many “not so good” seasons and confirmation on the resilience of this species.

But there is more. As I type, I’ve been informed by a volunteer on the other side of Port Phillip, (via twitter) that two chicks have fledged at Black Rock, Breamlea. Well done to the Breamlea volunteers.

When chicks fledge, you realise the sacrifice is worth it.

 

Montforts chick fledged entrance sign