Phillip Island Nature Parks Coastal Bird Research teams track and monitor the health of a wide variety of bird species across Phillip Island, with a priority focus on the incredibly vulnerable Hooded Plovers.
Hooded Plovers breed on some of Phillip Island’s most popular beaches. The birds are easily disturbed and their habitat must be preserved to prevent loss of eggs.
The Nature Parks team has been monitoring the Phillip Island Hooded Plover population since the 1980s through nest records and banding the legs of chicks. The population is slowly increasing thanks to research, conservation and the assistance of the local community.
Fortunately, 2021/2022 Hooded Plover breeding season on Phillip Island (Millowl) has been quite successful so far, but not without its usual ups and downs! Phillip Island Nature Park (PINP) Rangers have found a total of 69 eggs which have resulted in 23 chicks (33.3% success). Compare this to the same time last year: 101 eggs and 28 chicks (27.7% success), the Conservation department at PINP are pleased with this positive progress. As for fledglings, there have been 10 chicks successfully survive to fledge so far with 5 more chicks at 3 locations well on their way! Unfortunately, when PINP Rangers went to band and flag these first 3 chicks, they were already able to fly by 32 days old! Typically, it takes at least 35 days before chicks are ready to fly, however, these chicks were ready much earlier this year. A small defeat for conservation staff, but a huge win for the Hooded Plover population.