Volunteers and Natural Resources staff across the Eyre Peninsula are walking local beaches to find and record sightings of the vulnerable Hooded Plover.
The survey is part of Birdlife Australia’s National Hooded Plover Biennial Count, involving hundreds of people from southern New South Wales to western South Australia.
Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management officer Rachael Kannussaar says community groups and individuals have already reported nesting Hooded Plovers and newly hatched chicks across the Eyre Peninsula this season.
“The Birdlife Biennial Count is a great way for us to capture this information, improve our knowledge and subsequently guide our efforts to conserve these threatened beach-nesting birds,” Ms Kannussaar said.
The purpose of the survey is to collect breeding, habitat and potential threat data across each survey area. The presence of flagged birds is also captured as part of the survey.
For remote areas like the Eyre Peninsula with a relatively low population, this count is often the only opportunity to collect data for several years.
“While Hooded Plovers are our primary focus, sightings of other beach nesting birds such as Pied Oystercatchers, Sooty Oystercatchers, Red-capped Plovers and Fairy Terns are also recorded, as these species have very similar management needs to Hooded Plovers,” Ms Kannussaar said.
We can all help Hooded Plovers and other vulnerable shorebirds during the breeding season by looking for warning signs on beaches, keeping dogs on a leash and walking or driving below the high-tide mark. This will reduce the risk of damaging eggs or disturbing newly hatched chicks.
The hooded plover biennial survey is locally coordinated through Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula and supported by the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board.
To become an Eyre Peninsula Citizen Science member visit: https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula/get-involved/citizen-science