Park ban gives hooded plovers a fighting chance

Park ban gives hooded plovers a fighting chance

 Jason Dowling (The Age 12 March 2016)

The threatened hooded plover has been thrown a lifeline, with dogs to be banned from a key breeding ground – the Mornington Peninsula National Park.  From November this year dogs will be banned from the entire park – dog walking is currently permitted in 14.5 kilometres of the 42-kilometre national park coastline. The ban follows failed efforts to mitigate the impact of dogs on the hooded plover population.

 The government said tougher dog rules introduced in 2013 had been unsuccessful, with only five chicks fledging (reaching wing-feather age) from a total of 245 eggs during two breeding seasons. Birdlife Australia monitoring data from the Mornington Peninsula National Park shows that 70 per cent of hooded plover chicks were successfully fledged in areas where dogs are prohibited.

 Renee Mead, beach nesting birds project officer with Birdlife Australia, said the dog ban was great news. ‘‘We welcome this announcement ... these birds on the Mornington Peninsula have one of the highest concentrations and lowest rates of breeding success.’’ She said the hooded plover is one of our most threatened species and is listed as vulnerable, and here are 28 to 30 breeding pairs of hooded plovers on the peninsula.

Steve Karakitsos, president of the South Eastern Centre for Sustainability, said they were ecstatic with the news. He said the ban meant the plover ‘‘is going to have the best chance ever in terms of being able to regenerate’’.

A vunerable hooded plover chick on the back beach at Mountford beach.


31 Hooded Plover chicks die on the Mornington Peninsula Beaches this Summer of 2014/2015

Hooded Plovers have featured in local news recently.


Last two chicks of the season found dead at Moana only days from fledging.


A dog had mauled one chick. The other, which was found close by, had drowned - probably trying to escape from the same dog. Volunteers had spent 7 weeks watching this pair, erecting temporary fencing and signs while the pair was nesting and installing new signage and rope fencing when the chicks hatched. Tamara our PV Summer ranger visited the Moana HP family daily and often twice a day. This was the third set of chicks this pair had lost that season. One dog off-leash changed everything.


For the full story click here

14 July 2015 #ClippedOnIssuu

Unfortunately chicks at this age find it difficult to survive a dog attack. Irresponsible dog owners that walk their dogs at any time (flouting the current regulations) and have allowed their dogs off leash on the front and back beaches cause many problems for the hooded plovers, their nesting grounds and their chicks.

If you are interested in helping us save the Endangered Hooded Plover, please contact us today.

Nests and Chick monitoring

Friends – Contact:  Diane Lewis (President)

0419 320 205 or



Parks Vic survey

Friends – Contact:  Neil Shelley 0438 557 178

Park Issues:  Parks Vic – Contact 131 963 or



Friends of the Hooded Plovers Newsletters

Download the latest newsletters from the Friends of the Hooded Plover below.

Newsletter 26 - July 2016

Newsletter 25 - April 2016

Newsletter 24 - January 2016

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Mornington Peninsula Birdlife Sep 2016