The Hooded Plover project aims to increase understanding of the status, locations and trends of Hooded Plover breeding populations in Northern Tasmania and to prevent further decline of Hooded Plover breeding populations at sites where management actions have been implemented, compared with baseline data.
The project will establish baseline data on breeding population size and distribution, with a focus on Flinders Island and the east coast of Tasmania, to support planning of future on-ground actions. Safeguarding nesting sites by installing protective fencing in areas known to be vulnerable to human disturbance, engaging with the community to increase awareness of these vulnerable birds and managing coastal weeds in known breeding areas will improve nesting habitat and breeding attempts.
A continuous decline has been observed in the habitat and number of mature Hooded Plover (Eastern) individuals, particularly of mainland Australian populations. Tasmania is believed to be home to approximately half of the remaining population of Hooded Plover (Eastern), with approximately 20% of known individuals occurring in north-eastern Tasmania and up to half of these occurring in the Furneaux Islands.
Key feeding and nesting habitat consists mainly of ocean beaches backed by dunes, however Hooded Plover also feed in saltmarshes, estuaries, coastal lagoons and mudflats. Nesting occurs predominantly on flat sandy beaches above the high tide mark, or sparsely vegetated dunes. Disturbance or destruction of nests by people, dogs, stock and vehicles on the beach pose the greatest threat to the species, as well as marine debris, invasive weeds, rising sea levels and extreme weather.
The Hooded Plover Project will survey beaches of eastern Tasmania and Flinders Island for Hooded Plover breeding pairs and install temporary fencing, signage and monitor nesting locations, where nesting Hooded Plover are likely to be at high risk of disturbance. Control of coastal weeds will be facilitated through the engagement of community volunteers and contractors.
Delivery of the project will:
Return to the Biodiversity Program.
Safeguarding northern Tasmania as a refuge for Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
Promoting the expansion and recovery of Giant Freshwater Lobster.
Working with community, government and key stakeholders to promote responsible cat management across Tasmania.