Volunteer citizen scientists begin the biennial survey of the vulnerable Hooded Plover

News article |

Biennial Hooded Plover survey begins involving hundreds of people across Australia

Volunteers and Natural Resources staff across the Eyre Peninsula are walking our 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.

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.

Volunteer Jenny Noske has helped collect data for the past two biennial counts.

“I look forward to the biennial count, as I can spend time on my local beaches collecting important data that will help this vulnerable coastal species,” she said.

“We can all help Hooded Plovers during this breeding season by looking for warning signs when you visit the beach, keeping dogs on a leash and walking or driving below the high-tide mark. These actions will help to reduce the risk of damaging eggs or disturbing newly hatched chicks.”

The count 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 please visit our website for more information

https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/get-involved/citizen-science

For further information about the Hooded Plover Biennial Count, please contact Rachael Kannussaar ph 8688 3111, email Rachael.kannussaar@sa.gov.au or visit https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/plants-and-animals/native-plants-and-animals/native-animals.

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