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Friends help to protect Mornington Peninsula Plovers

Tuesday 18 September, 2012

The Friends of the Hooded Plover (Mornington Peninsula), BirdLife Australia and Parks Victoria are working hard to improve the breeding success of Hooded Plovers on the Mornington Peninsula.

Parks Victoria Ranger in Charge Darren Mitchell said this threatened shorebird species is found in the Mornington Peninsula National Park and is extremely vulnerable to impacts from people and predators.

To assist with this work Coastcare/Coast Action, whose work aims to protect the ecological integrity of Victorian coastal ecosystems, has awarded $22,200 to the Friends of the Hooded Plover through a community grants scheme. This grant has been complemented by a further $15,000 grant from BirdLife Australia.

BirdLife has also donated a telescope to Friends of the Hooded Plover, in order to assist them in their monitoring work.

Mr Mitchell said these grants have helped Parks Victoria to install much-needed fencing to protect several local Hooded Plover dune nesting areas.

“The fences will reduce the number of eggs being crushed or trampled and limit further general disturbance in the nest area while the eggs are being incubated,” said Mr Mitchell.

“They will also reduce the accessibility of fragile dune areas to the public, protecting sensitive native vegetation that helps to bind wind-blown sand.

“Most of the challenge in protecting Hooded Plovers involves education and awareness.”

People interested in learning more about local Hooded Plovers, or might like to help the species survive, are invited to an information and training session conducted by BirdLife Australia and the Friends of the Hooded Plover at the Sorrento Community Centre, located at 860 - 868 Melbourne Road, Sorrento, (Melway map 19 N9).

The session is 10:00am – 1:00pm on Thursday 27 September. Morning tea will be provided and BYO lunch. After the session, BirdLife will offer a guided tour of a nearby beach to assist people recognising Hooded Plovers in their beach environment.

To book a place and for further information about the session, contact Anne Ballard on 9889 1616 / 0409 864 971, or email hploversmornpen@gmail.com.

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