Key objectives

The City have identified four key objectives to direct management actions.
  1. Raise awareness about Hooded Plovers
  2. Apply a collaborative strategic approach towards Hooded Plover breeding protection
  3. Support Birdlife Australia staff and volunteers
  4. Manage threats to Hooded Plover breeding efforts

With a goal to have an annual breeding success at least 0.4 - 0.5 fledglings per breeding pair.

Image showing four key objectives and goal

Further information

Objective 1 - Raise awarements about the Hooded Plover

Abbreviations: BirdLife Australia Volunteers (BAV) City of Greater Geelong (The City) BirdLife Australia (BA)

  Action Who Timing Achievement Target
1.1 Raise awareness through informative, consistent signage
1.1.1 Manage temporary signage at nesting sites in accordance with BirdLife Australia Beaching Nesting Bird Guidelines. BAV
Once nest site has been established and for its duration. Appropriate signage at 100% of nests for the level of beach use.
1.1.2 Maintain permanent signage. The City All year round. 100% to be maintained.
1.2 Run broad public educational programs
1.2.1 Education activities. The City
As required, but mostly December – January (peak holiday period). At least two per season.
1.2.2 Advertising campaign. The City October – March Newspaper advertisements – three to six per season. External advertising (e.g. bus) Advertise in City News. Social media – five posts per season.
1.2.3 Wardening of nesting sites at high threat locations. BAV Variable – chick dependent. Supervise nests in high threat locations between 6.00am and dusk.
1.3 Run internal training and educational programs
1.3.1 Local laws training BA
The City
Pre patrol (Oct/Nov) One per year, open to all municipalities.
1.3.2 Increase internal awareness of staff in other areas of the City. The City All year Two proactive stories per year in internal publications and staff news. Targeted communication via email and opportunistic communications throughout the year.
1.3.3 Promote program to senior management and Council. The City All year Annual report on program and maintain regular communications.
1.4 Monitor the effectiveness of training and communication programs
1.4.1 Undertake annual survey of beach users. The City Start and end of the breeding season. Understand beach users knowledge of hooded plovers breeding and how it changes over time.

Snapshot - getting the message out there

Clear, consistent and engaging materials, resources and education including:

  • Temporary signage at established nest sites.
  • Directional signage each season, especially in relation to dog controls.
  • Conducting training sessions to educate Local Laws officers about species, threats and actions.
  • Seasonal advertising and media campaigns.
  • Beach patrols during breeding season to help educate beach goers.
  • Supporting volunteer wardens during breeding season to help educate beach goers.
  • Community-based events educating beach users, new residents, holiday-makers and surf schools.

Objective 2 - Apply a collaborative strategic approach towards Hooded Plover breeding protection

Abbreviations: City of Greater Geelong (The City) BirdLife Australia (BA)

  Action Who Timing Achievement Target
2.1 Working together with external agencies
2.1.1 Continue the Bellarine Hooded Plover Working Group as the planning mechanism for local hooded plover management. The City All year round Two meetings per season. Enough communication to enable collaborative integrated actions and review of yearly results.
2.1.2 City officers to enter information collected during site visits into BirdLife Australia’s ‘My Beach Bird’ data portal. The City During breeding season Data entered after each site visit.
2.1.3 In collaboration with partners, undertake external liaison and communication with local agencies and groups including Bancoora Surf Life Saving Club, Victorian Hang Gliders and Paragliders Association. The City All year round All relevant agencies and groups communicated with each year.
2.2 Working together with internal Departments
2.2.1 Effective internal communication with other departments – marketing, events, local laws, planning and so on. The City All year round Regular communication with Local Laws. Weekly contact during the breeding season. Keep other departments up to date with program, threats and achievements.
2.2.2 Ensure hooded plovers are protected during beach events through the inclusion of threat mitigation protocol in permit conditions. The City All year round All events permitted within the vicinity of breeding areas follow threat mitigation protocol.
2.2.3 Develop and improve methods to enhance beach user awareness of dog controls on local beaches. The City All year round Effective ways of notifying beach users identified and implemented by 2019 breeding season.
2.2.4 Investigate planning control options with strategic planning team to ensure impact of increasing beach use and development on breeding is minimised. The City June 2019 Planning controls in place that prevent coastal development detrimental to Hoodie survival.
2.2.5 Develop coastal action plan with regional coastal board. The City July 2020 Coastal Action Plan in place that prevents development detrimental to survival and supports action to protect habitat.
2.3 Annual review of the the City’s hooded plover program
2.3.1 Conduct annual review of Hooded Plover Action Plan and ensure program accords with BirdLife Australia's best practice hooded plover management advice and guidelines. The City
End of yearly breeding season An effective conservation program that continually improves.

A snapshote - a working group combining knowledge, resources and local action

The Bellarine Hooded Plover Working Group aims to develop a coordinated strategic approach toward hooded plover management including communications, events, activities, threat mitigation works, breeding site management and program review.

The working group includes representatives from:

  • Barwon Coast Committee of Management
  • Borough of Queenscliffe
  • Parks Victoria
  • Barwon Water
  • Friends of the Hooded Plover Bellarine and Breamlea
  • BirdLife Australia
  • City of Greater Geelong

Objective 3 - Support Birdlife Australia staff and volunteers

Abbreviations: City of Greater Geelong (The City), BirdLife Australia (BA), BirdLife Australia Volunteers (BAV)

  Action Who Timing Achievement Target
3.1 Provide support to the Friends of the Hooded Plover (Bellarine and Breamlea) Volunteers
3.1.1 Supply of signage, fencing materials, chick shelters. The City All year round For all nesting sites on City managed beaches.
3.1.2 Training to assist volunteers in identifying presence of pest animals (foxes and cats) in the vicinity of breeding areas. The City Every second year prior to breeding season. All volunteers have access to pest animal training.
3.1.3 Assist the local BA Friends of the Hooded Plover groups with volunteer recruitment. The City All year round Promote groups as opportunities arise - for example when presenting to community and students.
3.1.4 Seek and support funding opportunities to further advance hooded plover protection. The City
All year round All grant opportunities identified and support provided for applications.
3.2 Maintain a close working relationship with BirdLife Australia
3.2.1 Work closely with BirdLife Australia staff to maintain best practice hooded plover management. The City All year round Continue delivering best practice hooded plover management.

A snapshot - combining our resources for the greater good

The City is committed to taking a lead role in engaging and supporting our community partners.

Partnerships work through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and resources.

Our role includes:

  • Ensuring materials and resources are supplied and stored locally, with access for volunteers to erect temporary fencing and chick shelters, as needed.
  • Supporting BirdLife Australia’s volunteer wardens in the field when required.
  • Consulting regularly with BirdLife Australia to remain current on knowledge, data, new approaches and opportunities.

Objective 4 - Manage Hooded Plover breeding sites to improve fledgling numbers

Abbreviations: BirdLife Australia Volunteers (BAV) City of Greater Geelong (The City) BirdLife Australia (BA)

  Action Who Timing Achievement Target
4.1 Reduce impacts from beach users and off leash dogs
4.1.1 Locate nests and ensure beach users are aware of them. BAV
The City
Late August to April 100% of nests found and the appropriate signage and fencing strategy implemented.
4.1.2 Undertake wardening of chicks at high threat beaches. BAV Varies – chick dependant. Nests in high threat locations are wardened between 6.00am and dusk.
4.1.3 Local Laws Officers and Environmental Ranger to undertake beach patrols targeting Hoodie breeding areas. The City Varies – often starting late December – February/March. At least two per week (including weekends) during breeding season. Ensure patrols are undertaken during peak visitor times targeting active breeding sites.
4.1.4 Ensure beach events, beach businesses, surf schools and other activities do not impact on breeding success of hooded plovers. The City
Event organisers
Late August – late April (within breeding season). All activities implement hooded plover Protection Protocols and/or Site Environmental Management Plans (SEMPs).
4.1.5 Do not allow contractors or sub- contractors to work on Hoodie beaches during breeding season. The City
Works should be done April to September (outside breeding season). No disturbance of breeding sites from contracted works.
4.1.6 Maintain a policy of no horses on City beaches or dunes. The City All year round No horses using beaches.
4.1.7 Maintain a “No vehicle” policy on beaches, except for emergency services and maintenance purposes. Adhere to the City’s strict Standard Operation Procedure for driving on beaches. The City
During hooded plover breeding season. No vehicles on beaches unless required for emergency or management.
4.1.8 Provide the Victorian Hang Gliders and Paragliding Association with updated information on hooded plover breeding sites. The City All year round and when new nesting locations are discovered. No disturbance of hooded plover breeding sites from hang gliding or paragliding.
4.1.9 Using science based data to inform strategic planning decisions, investigate the feasibility of establishing ‘Shorebird Protection Zones’ to better protect significant nesting/flocking sites from off leash dogs and other human impacts. The City
By 2021 Complete investigation and implement recommendations.
4.2 Raise beach user awareness of dog regulations through informative, consistent signage
4.2.1 Erect temporary dog regulation signage at breeding sites. BAV
The City
Once nest site has been established All dog owners are aware of seasonal dog controls.
4.2.2 Erect temporary signage at car parks to fore warn beach users that hooded plovers are breeding on this beach. The City Once nest site has been established Reduce number of users on breeding beaches during breeding season and increase awareness.
4.2.3 Maintain or replace any permanent dog regulation signage. The City All year round All beaches have obvious, clear and correct dog signage.
4.2.4 Create and distribute educational material for dog owners such as the ‘Dogs on Beaches’ guide. The City Update prior to breeding season (August) Beach users aware of dog regulations on beaches.
4.2.5 Install signage on beach access tracks, at change of regulation sites and other locations as required. The City 2020 and as required Beach users aware of dog regulations and where changes in regulations occur.
4.2.6 Investigate the feasibility of installing dog regulation zone maps at beach access points. The City 2019 Beach users informed of dog regulation zones prior to accessing beach.
4.3 Reduce predation by foxes
4.3.1 Implement an integrated fox control program in coordination with other management agencies. The City
Adjoining agencies
August to April. No fox predation of hooded plovers.
4.3.2 Monitor fox presence at hooded plover breeding sites. BAV August to April. All fox visits to breeding sites identified.
4.3.3 Targeted fox control around individual breeding sites. The City
As needed No predation of eggs or chicks at active breeding sites.
4.4 Reduce predation by cats
4.4.1 Monitor cat presence at hooded plover breeding sites. BAV August - April Identify all breeding sites being visited by cats.
4.4.2 Instigate a cat trapping program. The City As needed No predation of eggs and chicks at active breeding sites.
4.5 Monitor predation by native predators
4.5.1 Monitor activity of native predators at breeding sites and follow BA advice and protocols to minimise impacts. BAV
The City
August - April All impacts of native predators at breeding sites recorded.
4.6 Reduce weed threats to breeding habitat
4.6.1 Monitor weed species distribution and identify potential threats to hooded plover breeding success. The City All year round All weed threats to hooded plover habitat identified.
4.6.2 Control weed infestations threatening known breeding sites including: Sea Wheat-grass (Thinopyrum junceiforme) Marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) Sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias) The City
April - August Reduce the impact of weeds on hooded plover habitat.

A snapshot - walking the talk

Having a positive impact on the number of chicks that successfully fledge demands the implementation of an array of measures, delivered at critical times by a diversity of people and agencies. It’s about walking the talk, getting out in the field and working together to make the numbers count. Refer to BirdLife Australia’s - A Practical Guide for Managing Beach-nesting Birds in Australia (2008) for details of protection measures (see further information).

Page last updated: Monday, 12 October 2020