birding-aus Hooded Plover

Subject: birding-aus Hooded Plover
From: Bette Mitchell <>
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 12:32:48 +1100
I am so glad you enjoyed your encounter with the Hooded Plover chick
I have been involved with surveying Hooded Plovers on the Mornington
Peninsula for nine years.
Every fortnight in all weather and some unearthly early hour starts
according to the tide we trudge the beaches monitoring plovers.
Our stretch between Point Nepean at the southern tip of the Mornington
Peninsula to Sorrento can only be traversed at low tide, hence some
early starts.
I have no doubt that Bernice filled you in with the many problems facing
Hooded Plovers on the Mornington Peninsula.
Although the position has slightly improved with better management, lack
of ranger presence is a problem, there are just not enough of them.
Irresponsible dog owners know that they can safely take their dogs on to
the beach with little show of being caught.
Without Bernice's dedicated commitment  together with  the help of the
volunteers the plight of the Hoodies on the peninsula would be grim.
I have some answers for their long term survival such as complete beach
closure in areas where there are high numbers of Hoodies.
Beach closure!! horror of horrors!! we couldn't possibly keep people off
beaches, this would be asking too much for the sake of  the plight of
one bird.
This year for the first time there is to be a fox baiting trial thanks
again to Bernice's persistance. Local dog owners are to be notified so I
am hoping this will not only alleviate the fox problem but also the dog
I cannot describe the feeling of watching a chick and the parents
struggle against the odds of too many people and their unleashed dogs
only to finally succumb.
On the other hand the absolute joy of witnessing a plover chick take
it's first flight and to know that you have played some part in this.
And to watch the adult sitting tightly to the nest for three weeks only
to find  the nest trampled or destroyed.
More needs to be done to protect breeding Hooded Plovers because unless
we do they will go the same way as the Kentish Plover in the U.K.
I think I am too sentimental for this lark!
                                               Bett Mitchell.

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