Hooded Plover Winter Surveys
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula (NREP) staff will begin Hooded Plover Overwintering Surveys this year at six inland locations across the region during non-breeding months and will continue until 2023 as part of the Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery Project.
This project is supported by NREP, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
The Hooded Plover is listed as a threatened species under The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the birds live on ocean beaches. Hooded Plovers nest above the high tide mark between August and April, and are susceptible to disturbances such as off-leash dogs and off-road vehicles. Hooded Plovers are also under pressure from feral animals such as cats and foxes.
Natural Resources Management (NRM) Officer, Alex Fraser said these surveys will complement existing Hooded Plover surveys on the coast which take place during the breeding season.
“Although many Hooded Plovers stay on beaches during the winter, Hooded Plovers have also been reported on inland lakes in the past,” Mr Fraser said.
“We’re keen to learn more about inland areas that may be used by Hooded Plovers during the non-breeding months to help us protect them.”
Inland sites such as Sceale Bay, Lake Greenly, Lake Newland and Sleaford Mere Conservation Parks will be included, as these sites have had Hooded Plovers recorded during winter in the past.
“Research and past observations have recorded that during winter, Hooded Plovers can leave their nesting territory and congregate in flocks of five or more,” Mr Fraser said.
“Reports of them flocking along the coast have already been received – this is a spectacular sight for bird lovers and volunteers.
“Winter surveys will help us learn more about where flocks can be found which is significant for the future conservation and management of this threatened species.”
NREP welcomes Eyre Peninsula locals to join in as volunteers for future surveys. To do so, please contact your local NRM office and find out how to be involved. For further information call us on (08) 8625 3144 or visit https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/get-involved/volunteering