Be mindful of the nesting hooded plovers along the Coorong and Limestone Coast beaches during the warmer months, to help conserve this threatened bird population.
As beach-goers flock to the sand this spring and summer, remember keep an eye out for the local ‘hoodie’ population.
With less than 800 birds remaining in South Australia the hooded plover is vulnerable to local extinction.
Hoodies breed on south-east beaches during the warmer months, meaning that the Coorong and Limestone Coast become a crèche between August and March.
The birds are at great risk of being trampled on as they lay their eggs in the sand and lead their tiny chicks down to the water’s edge to feed.
Secretary of Friends of Shorebirds South East, Maureen Christie has monitored hoodie numbers across the south-east for many years and has observed their population decline.
“Sadly, hoodie sightings along the Coorong and Limestone Coast are decreasing,” Ms Christie said.
“The next step for these birds is local extinction, if we don’t find ways to help protect them.”
If you are visiting the Coorong or Limestone Coast beaches during the warmer months, you can help the hoodies by:
- Learning to identify them – a distinctive red beak, red-ringed eye and striking black hood and throat. Not to be confused with the larger and noisier masked lapwing, commonly referred to as a plover.
- Driving your car at the low tide mark and close to the water’s edge. Remember to pay attention to hooded plover warning signs.
- Keep your dog on a leash and walk them at the water’s edge.
- Keep away from areas temporarily fenced off to help protect nests and chicks.
- Keep off the sand dunes.